Bijay Kant Dubey

After The Death Of His Wife - Poem by Bijay Kant Dubey

Wept he by the pyre that he would never marry in his life
Just like Bhishma Pitamaha
Though he was not,
A married man,
A widower
Whose wife is no more.

By the burning pyre,
The wooden logs aflame,
The trails of smoke rising
And blazing,
He wept and wept
Bitterly with tears
Into the eyes.

Under the canopy of the skies
Weeping miserably,
Under the stars twinkling
And the moon shining,
He weeping as an orphan,
Turning from a theist to an atheist,
A believer to a non-believer.

He weeping on the river-bed
By the burning pyre,
Calling God,
But He showing not His Face
As he would ask for the boon
Like Savitri,
Will debate like Nachiketa.

Said he that he would look after his
Small son and daughter,
How to live
Without seeing their sweet face,
How to let the poor children
Live like orphan,
Without mother and father!

But the same man how has he changed,
Colours he his hair and beards and moustache,
Dyes and paints,
Clean-shaven and looks his face in the mirror,
The same man, just the same,
How changed looks he now!

The beards which he had grown
For becoming a bairagya,
Cut he down at the instruction of his new wife,
I mean the memsahib
And now remembers he smilingly
Without any reason,
Perhaps found his love.

The man who used to move about
Keeping the small son and daughter,
Now he keeps to himself,
Without caring for them,
Letting them to play under heat and dust,
Driving like the dogs.

The small daughter’s long hair is without coconut oil
And the frock dirty
But she carrying the small brother child
Into the arms of hers,
Oh, the motherless child,
Exclaims the neighbour,
But sees not!

Having got his new love, how has he changed,
Looking coloured-coloured,
With the moustache and hair dyed,
Looking like a younger brat,
Jogging in the park a golden boy,
Always in fear that
The new memsahib will leave and go away.

All the time the name of the new wife on the lips
And he taking like Sita-Ram, Radhey-Shyam,
The whole locality whispering about
The newly found love
Of the about to be a yogi,
But the wife changed the bairagi
And the bairagi was not, but a fake sadhu
With the duplicate beards, parting the role.

Sometimes keep they singing together with,
Eating and waiting for equally
Like the panting doves,
A pair of sterlings,
The husband marking the face of the wife,
Perhaps has seen her before.

The children are in torn clothes,
He has nothing to care,
Like the step-father behaves he with,
Beats and scolds,
Abuses and turns out of the house
Which his sister and brother bear it not.

We wonder how the same father has turned
So cruel and callous,
So inhuman and selfish,
Can a father be so,
Perhaps under pressure
From his Dulari, dearer and Ladli, affectionate wife,
Is it not?

Talk they in such an affectionate way by standing
Near the gate
Or by the staircase
That the neibhbours whisper they about
The new lovers,
Thanking God for this newly found love,
God-gifted strange meeting.

Both of them made for each other,
Handshaking and greeting,
Looking up to God in thankfulness
And all smiles,
With the teeth shining white
And smiles breaking upon the lips.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Poem Edited: Thursday, August 29, 2013

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