A Monk & Two Men - Poem by Pradip Chattopadhyay
The monk with his disciples was traveling by car
The journey was long and arduous
When with a screech stopped it a flat tyre
Causing them a break from the rush!
The monk was upset with still a long way to go
Halted by this unforeseen obstacle
When caught his eyes the river in calming flow
Upon her an island’s spectacle!
He asked his disciples to find him a boat
For he had some time in his hand
The island beckoned him alluringly remote
With its forest and the silvery sand!
With one of his disciples he took the boat ride
Soon his feet touched the green of the forest
He felt the pleasure of being on the other side
For a stroll and in the green a little rest!
Walking some way they came upon two men
So emaciated their ribcages jutted out
Sitting under a tree couldn’t be said for what gain
The monk thought them mad men no doubt!
He made a coughing sound expecting them to rise
For those men seemed lost in a trance
Their spell thus broken they opened their eyes
And rose to their feet that instance!
They bowed to the monk in the most courteous grace
With folded hands and stooped head
No distress of being famished showed on their face
They stood tall and erect instead!
The monk asked what the duo was doing there
In that forest wasting out their day
Beneath a tree sitting nakedly bare
It was not meditation’s right way!
A Guru they must get and follow his creed
Must chant the secret hymns taught by him
There are rituals to follow rigid paths to tread
God cannot be reached by mere whim!
To all his words they nodded humble and serene
Not an utterance once escaped from them
Remained bowed in respect their frames frail and lean
In the forest two seekers without name!
It was time for the monk to get back to the car
For remained for him still more mile
The island and its forest would soon recede far
In his lifespan some memories awhile!
While boarding the car he saw an incredible sight
And it broke the hard shell of his pride
Those two men were walking in the sun’s failing light
Across the river without the aid of a boat ride!
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