Death Delayed / Debasis Tripathy

In the same room, on the same bed

where he has slept since his wedding day,

death is in no rush to reap his soul away;

this tough old man who ran a shop for years,

never read a book of literature or religion,

now insists that Bhagavad Gita, the holy book

be repeatedly read for his almost-deaf ears –

everyone in his family takes turns,

as he visualizes Yama, the wrathful god

of death, of cyclone’s cloud complexion

on his way riding a water-buffalo.

The two older sons with their families,

the third son, who is an expat and separated

and the wife are sending loud prayers

and hoping they reach the wrong address,  

while the buffalo, who is but a mount

to his master’s wishes keeps plodding, plodding

and plodding on a path seriously slowed down

by modern life-enhancing medicines and therapy.

The hungry beast still has a long way to go  

but he will ultimately hit a destination –

sooner or later, wrong or right.

In the interim, the old man responds to a call

by the visiting doctor, who declares,

the patient is showing signs of improvement



Debasis Tripathy works for an IT Company in Bangalore. He also writes – poems and short fiction.  His recent work has been featured in Mad Swirl, Squawk Back, Collidescope, Turnpike, Adelaide Magazine, Kitaab , Punch Magazine & elsewhere.  Occasionally, he tweets at @d_basis

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