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Ravikumar C.P.


Beyond Memories


This world will finally forget everything,
Sooner or later things will fade away.
Yet you ask me if I remember
Your words of yesterday!

Will a plant remember how many flowers
Bloomed in yesteryear's spring?
If you ask a bird, will it recall,
How many tunes did it sing?

Does an ocean remember how many rivers
Have flown into it and become its part?
Does the sky remember how many stars
Have shone or fallen from the very start?


We owe our very existence
To our memories, you and I -
We mean something to one another
When we remain in each other's memory.

Every human being attempts to frame
As many memories as he can
What a writer or an artist creates
Is limited by his memory span


But thank goodness that our memories
Will fade out over time!
If our memories prevailed across births
Life would be a ghastly pantomime -

Being able to forget
Is such a gift to mankind -
Every child must learn the alphabets
After a complete unwind


If we pile memories on top of memories
They will simply clutter up our inside
We must throw things away once in a while,
Failures, victories, our pains, our pride -

Take a leaf out of the book
Of a tree that sheds in the winter -
Remember the smile of Gommata,
Shed and stand lighter

Submitted: Sunday, December 29, 2013
Edited: Monday, December 30, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

Trnaslator's Note: Gommata refers to Gommateshwara, or Bahubali, whose naked sculpture stands tall on the top of the hill in Sravanabelagola. Bahubali was the younger brother of Bharateshwara, but challenged his elder brother in a race to the throne. He defeated Bharata in three duels and this made him the lawful successor; but he could not forgive himself for the anguish he had caused to his brother. He decided to renounce everything that was worldly, including his clothing, and took up penance.

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