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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