House Number 974 - Poem by Jasbir Chatterjee
Once upon a time,
A newly wedded bride,
Showered with heaps of love and blessings.
With stars in her eyes,
Wearing rose-colored spectacles
Was ushered into house number 974;
With a temple on the left,
And a Gurdwara on the right,
Surrounded with lush greenery, beautiful f lowers, chirping birds, and busy bees,
She thought life was going to be
One long, happy fairy tale.
But, alas, that was not to be…
A huge, black bat once entered their house.
The loving Mom-in-law shooed it out.
Then a few days later, their landlady dropped in.
She said she wanted her house back.
In just 2 months!
A year later, their newborn child, a daughter, died!
Then a few days later, the husband lost his job.
With their whole world crashing around them,
They gathered their belongings.
Undeterred, with unwavering faith in God,
They left House number 974 and moved on…
Today, after so many years,
I gathered courage and stood below this house number 974.
While the ghosts of my past engulfed me in their arms
I looked up and for a long time,
I kept gazing at the staircase leading up to the house
and its open window…
A woman's face suddenly appeared at the window,
Forcing me to look away.
With my eyes moist and a lump in my throat,
I suddenly realized how precarious and fragile my existence still is.
Nothing is really mine.
Everything belongs to God, my present Landlord.
He gives generously when He is kind.
He takes away when he gets angry.
With a twitch of His eyelid, he can snatch everything.
But I am only human with no way out.
In my surrender to God,
My house is as good as house number 974.
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