Jasbir Chatterjee

Gold Star - 10,790 Points (4 March 1966 / Delhi)

Kamala - Poem by Jasbir Chatterjee

Often, when I feel exhausted and my hands and feet refuse to move
Having to look after you
Like a newborn child
seems to be a punishment from God
And I hope
That you die soon.

Often, when I feel discouraged and nothing seems to work,
My heart fills with anger with myself,
And when I pull you up on your feet,
My pent up anger pushes its way out through my clenched grip around your wrist.
You wince with pain and Nanni screams,
'Mummy, how can you be so cruel? '

Often, when I am my normal self and I look at you
You stare at me silently with vacuous eyes, emaciated, helpless;
My mind wanders and I think of those old times
When you had been stronger
and you had pulled me up on my feet
Gently, softly through tough times, filled my heart with hope.....

Often, when I think ahead
I wonder if I too would live long enough
For Nanni to wish I would die soon...
For Nanni to have to lift me up on my feet
with pent up anger in her grip, hard enough to make me wince with pain,
Long enough to be emaciated, helpless, and stare with vacuous eyes....

Topic(s) of this poem: old age

Form: Prose Poem

Poet's Notes about The Poem

This story is inspired from my late mother-in-law. Her name was also Kamala.

Comments about Kamala by Jasbir Chatterjee

  • C. P. Sharma (3/14/2010 7:29:00 AM)

    a pathetic reflection on old age disability.
    (Report) Reply

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  • (5/26/2009 9:10:00 PM)

    Deep feelings/experiences expressed here...a somber reflection of Life's journey...
    God bless & Cheers.
    (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, April 12, 2009

Poem Edited: Thursday, October 15, 2015

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