Tale of Two old ladies
P K Routray
Edited by P Gaan
On my way in a hilly forest
To observe nature at its best
And to watch how men are living inside the wood,
Without logistic and amenities to collect their food,
I saw an old lady with a bamboo stick
Walking bare footed on the stony spike.
Sharp edged stones massaging her feet
as if Stiff gradient giving her support and lift
Without fear of snake and wild bear
She was moving on as if they were her dear.
Her eyes could hardly see
But she was walking along with cheer and glee
Her age was not known
May be eighty as per my estimation
She was carrying a packet for her loved dears
Whom she had not seen and spoken for years
Perhaps she had to go miles before the dark
I saw in her brisk walk, her young age spark
The chirping of birds and the murmur of trees,
Removed her loneliness to walk with ease .
As if they were her companions from her very young age,
She had been enjoying thus nature’s patronage.
No sign of grief not a drop of tear
As if everything happened as per her desire.
Seemed to me, as if her life is pleasant and very very easy.
This is because, I thought,
She has not seen us, how we go crazy.
One evening I saw a lady in her seventies in a city park
Sitting alone gazing at crowd with a wheel chair at her back.
Perhaps she was praying for her attendant to come and take her, back home,
On my asking, she burst into tears making me pensive and mum.
She was a divorcee, staying all alone without anybody’s care.
She had a son, staying away in London far away from her.
Neither the son nor his wife was ready to shoulder her burden
She had to depend on people unknown being deceived by her own.
But she did not know any of her neighbors or people living nearby
All her close friends, relations lived at places far away
All were busy in their works; they did not have time to spare.
TV was boring and dull repeating same story of politics and cinema everywhere.
She no longer tolerated and had to put it under cover.
Life was boring and her limbs worn out she could bear it no more.
The poor lady every time only has to pray Almighty God,
Her end to come nearer and quicker with His benign nod
The lady in forest lived with nature, had learnt to have limited desire.
But the lady in the city conditioned by her society longed for amenities more and more.
One’s life was simple and difficulties were challenges with ultimate jubilations
Other’s life was complex, who always lived in fear of trials and tribulations
Both had spent days when they showered love on family members without discrimination
One gets return and the other has to live life of desolation.