The Exile Poem by Rishi Kaul

The Exile

Rating: 4.5

He passed from life to hereafter softly
Bereft of anxieties and the aches of life
A life well lived and a dignified end
As mourners recalled his moments of life
And loved ones bade him a tearful send
Memories hung about heavy in the air
Of not just the body but also the soul
Some happy and of a merry lute
Yet others which spoke of a sordid tale untold
The pretensions of the mortal tragedy were enacted
Amidst rituals of immortality in a dying breed
Forgetting that this soul had died a long time back.

He had been a flower once in the paradise acclaimed
Blossomed and bloomed in the pristine winds of the vale
Unmindful of the gales that menaced his garden
And the vicious seeds which had taken root in his soil
And then one day the unthinkable happened in paradise
Uprooted from its garden by one of its own seed
The flower was banished forever from his soil and his hearth
As Flowers conspired against their own brethren and roots
And wicked winds blew a tempest through the earth
The flower was blown across mountains and scattered all over
In harsh climes and rugged terrains
They called him and his seed ' The Exile'
One of the few and one amongst his kind.

They never knew how and through what
But the seed took root and blossomed wherever it went
Old and young found their own gardens
In distant lands and faraway seas
Maybe that's why it happened
Maybe that's what this all meant
The young flowers nourished the old in alien soils
And the old flowers gave the young stories of their land
The garden which was once their Eden
The soil which had now become dusty sand
But they never showed the young their sorrow
And they never revealed to them their pain
A grief which ran down to their roots
An agony which drove a good many of them insane.

And so they lived and so they died
Across the vast oceans and the spans of time
And each time an old flower wilts and dies
We forget that his soul had died a long time back
That though his body had lived on for a brief while
His soul had died the day they called him the exile
And hence the young don't mourn his passing
But remember it with a lot of pride
How an old flower did nurture a garden again
And the story of how he never left their side!

the poem is about the unsung pain and anguish of the exiles of Kashmir who were uprooted from their homes and hearths in a genocidal wave of fanaticism! Old people who started their lives afresh far away from their birthplaces and gave a new lease of life to their young ones! its the story of the vale which has plunged into darkness! !
Tribhawan Kaul 15 September 2014

Poignant. I am bound to share your feelings. I know what people of our and older generation has gone through. You have rightly said soul of such dignified people had already died when forced to leave Kashmir. The poem truly brings out your anguish and pain which only a poet can describe who has gone through the turmoil alongwith his/her elders. Thanks for sharing. Happy writing.

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Akhtar Jawad 13 September 2014

A lovely description of man's story started in paradise and still continued on the earth. Beautiful and attractive.

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