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Obituary By A K Ramanujan

Father, when he passed on,
left dust
on a table of papers,
left debts and daughters,
a bedwetting grandson
named by the toss
of a coin after him,

a house that leaned
slowly through our growing
years on a bent coconut
tree in the yard.
Being the burning type,
he burned properly
at the cremation

as before, easily
and at both ends,
left his eye coins
in the ashes that didn't
look one bit different,
several spinal discs, rough,
some burned to coal, for sons

to pick gingerly
and throw as the priest
said, facing east
where three rivers met
near the railway station;
no longstanding headstone
with his full name and two dates

to holdin their parentheses
everything he didn't quite
manage to do himself,
like his caesarian birth
in a brahmin ghetto
and his death by heart-
failure in the fruit market.

But someone told me
he got two lines
in an inside column
of a Madras newspaper
sold by the kilo
exactly four weeks later
to streethawkers

who sell it in turn
to the small groceries
where I buy salt,
coriander,
and jaggery
in newspaper cones
that I usually read

for fun, and lately
in the hope of finding
these obituary lines.
And he left us
a changed mother
and more than
one annual ritual.
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COMMENTS
Dhanappa 01 March 2021
Carrying the load of life due to careless people is beautifully presented
0 0 Reply
Soumita Sarkar 02 June 2018
The poem is so touching.....while reminding his father...he sarcastically comments the obligations that he has to fulfil......so great lines.
0 0 Reply
B. R. Kumawat 19 December 2017
What a poem this is! It has nothing of a poem. It bears no poetic zeal. It's much shocking and disgusting that today we have killed our poetic zeal and sensibility. We appreciate even a bundle of words. This type of so-called poems are not worth following. We should come out of these dead bundle of words. Shame to the universities that prescribe this type of so-called poems in their syllabus. Shame to the publishers that publish this type of triflities.
2 10 Reply
aditya 05 December 2018
Why don't you try and write a poem with poetic zeal, you would surely be appreciated more than Ramanujan.
2 0 Reply
Dhanappa Metri 01 March 2021
Sir,
0 0 Reply
Soumita Sarkar 01 January 2017
liked the way poet has added to the end of a line but unending suffering...
1 1 Reply
Ramesh T A 11 October 2016
It is generally a matter of fact thing to carry out and think about next step after the demise of a great person!
1 1 Reply

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