M.D Dinesh Nair
Where Are You My Lad? - Poem by M.D Dinesh Nair
'Where are you my lad? '
My question starts from my heart
And my mouth speaks its words out.
'You miss me not, but I do,
And I still remember your beaming eyes'.
'Where have you gone my boy? '
My concern begins with a hope
And my heart beats for now.
'I presume your destination to be
The re found altar of learning you frown at'.
'In your metamorphic image, I search for that you
Who had once been my favourite pupil'
But it fades like a mirage.
'I draw your image on a canvas
And that has a thousand shades of its own'.
'Shall I play hide and seek with you
So that one day you will be found by me? '
And I seek no other favour.
'I see you hiding beyond a big wall
But I search for you behind a bunyan tree! '
I am very sorry, dear all others
As I see you often all arond me.
Poet's Notes about The Poem
Once there was a student very much present in my class. He had a smile on his face. His face resembled a blooming hibiscus. He was filled with beaming energy that came from within him. He was attired well and his buttons were small. He had two pens with him, the text books and long note books. Perhaps he wanted to take down the pearls of wisdom fallen from our mouths! To him John Keats and Tagore were two great philosophers par excellence and Churchill and Gandhi were the diametrically polar pillars of strength. He got outraged at the cruelty of the dame in Keats` La Belle Dame Sans Merci and sympathised with Ratan and her helpless demi-God Post-Master from far off Kolkota.
My student looked through the window at times and saw the chirping sparrows and fluttering leaves of turai trees. My student used to stay back even after the lecture hours to ask me whether life could be a wonderful experience for him if he wished to make it so. I never answered such hypothetical queries but smiled at his face (of course, I have not been fortunate enough to smile like that since then) . But I loved him to ask such questions. My classes went well and I did not notice how fast time was fleeting.
Years later my student re sat in my class with a different face. His smile had faded and a cynical smile had begun to bloom on it. His energy levels were low and he looked restless and disinterested in what the writer had to say and how I would interpret it. His attire had an obvious shrinkage and I noticed more buttons - big too on his shirt. He came in with a pen that never wrote. He had no text books but just a short rough note book that he wanted to make an ‘encyclopaedia’ of hand written information. ‘Once Upon A Time’ by the African poet Gabriel Okara and ‘The Pathfinder’ by the British dramatist Hermon Ould do not ring music into his ears. I preferred to think that he had no interest in brooding over the social conflicts in Nigeria nor had he any botheration about the writing skills of dramatists smaller than Shaw and Gold Smith despite the fact that he had no interest in the latter duo too. Before the lecture hours he did not linger back but in fact he had run out past beyond the wide door. I had no disappointment at all [ of course, I had by then learnt to discern things more distinctly]. My classes were still going on and I was beginning to learn why time was fleeting.
A few days ago I saw my student somewhere- yes, near a crowded place, exactly at a pre-paid mobile card shop choosing the ‘his number’. For long, he has been missing the classes altogether. My lessons had already been taught over and the examinations had begun. My student did not see my face. But out of usual curiosity I still observed his one. It had two eyes which saw everything except me, and it had lips that smiled at the last three of ’his number’ alone. My student he was! As he went on repeatedly making some calls to those unreachable numbers, perhaps he looked like a child inflicted with autism. His new attire had a faded look down the waistline. He was wearing a wrist watch that could show all the time zones in the world. Sometime later he left the shop and in the twilight of the duskI his shadow closely followed him.
I thought it was like a tiger with sharp teeth and a hunger infinite. I was horrified a little. I left the place after buying a copy of an evening daily. The beaming street lamps struggled to make their dim rays fall over things.
I had to read the back page of the daily first. It had a classified advertisement which read ‘Wanted A Student’. You know, it was given by me two days ago. Yes, I want a Student. Please, take it for granted, if this advertisement is not to be responded, I may go for a half-page advertisement in a National daily next.
I remain with due regards and a big 'sorry' for all other students of mine for writing this...
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