A Memorable Night - Poem by Rajendran Muthiah
I stopped my cycle abruptly
gazing at a dark hulk in that dead of night
on the rutted track under a banyan tree
with its branches widely stretched around.
I reversed a few yards slowly
with my eyes focused on that figure.
To borrow some money from my uncle in a village,
twenty kilometers off ANJA College, Sivakasi,
I slipped out of the hostel after nine.
(As a student of Physics, I would miss
practical classes if I went on leave
on a working day.When my father died,
I was absent for two, three days,
and I missed to do the experiment of Boyle's Law.
I got no chance to do it on a holiday.
Fate tricked me and the same experiment,
I got at the University Examination.
I lost grades and was the ‘one in two'
Second Class Degree Holders in that year.)
I hired a cycle and pedaled fast alone.
I had already heard tales of murders,
waylaying and chain-snatching at twilight
under that tree.All these things bustled in my mind.
I passed off the tree across the cotton-field
and felt ensconced a little.
As I had no fear for the ghosts,
I hurled some stones on that gargantuan shape.
My God! A black buffalo was traipsing aside
and with a smile, I rode again on my foal,
which had no dynamo and I had no Cell or Torch.
After a fortnight, my Hostel Warden,
Prof. Paunraja, a gem of fatherly affection
called me out and I walked in feigning a sad face.
"You're an ideal student. Go and study well",
he said these brief, abrupt words.
"Why he said so? ", the question,
still remains unanswered in my mind.
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