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A woman in her 50s is not done with life yet! A sensitively penned poem that speaks of the clash between social expectations and what a woman wants.
This poem narrates the grit and resolve of a fiftyish woman whose family members are too busy to give her any time. They love her and acknowledge her efforts and sincerity towards her family’s well being. They keep telling her that she must stop bothering about them now that they have grown up and are capable of looking after themselves.
Despite being left to fend for herself for long hours she refuses to give up. She develops some new hobbies and interests to fight this sense of desolation. Time may be the first calamity in this fast paced world, time may not be on her side but she’s not done with her life yet.
Once again I hear the same loving reminders and promises,
We are old enough, we can look after ourselves,
Mom, you are on the other side of fifty,
You must now care for only thee.
They say I am getting on in years,
So I shouldn’t bother much about the nitty-gritties,
For years I have toiled,
And must get some rest, well-deserved.
Oh, am I really getting old?
The ‘well-wishers’ tell me half of my life is spent,
Days, months, years are getting limited,
Gather yourself before God’s messenger is sent.
Oh yeah, the morn of my life is gone,
But the dark night of oblivion is yet to fall,
So many beautiful moments yet to be lived,
So much of life yet to be seen and cherished!
Everyone’s busy in their lives,
In their hectic schedules, for me there’s no space,
The young leave home early for their workplace,
Go for long drives, party and hangout with their pals.
They want me to stay at home, relax and chill,
I swallow my loneliness as the bitter pill.
What if I am no longer needed by them all?
I do need myself, I do care for my parched soul.
So no more the cantankerous shouts of news anchors for me,
With the first sip of my morning green tea.
Peeping through a foggy sky, the vibrant yellow sun rays,
Pearly dewdrops on the gently undulating leaves,
I choose the velvety, sonorous baritone of Arijit,
The nazms by Gulzar and the Gazals of a mellifluous Jagjit,
Chirpy sparrows squabbling for grains,
Agile squirrels flitting on the tree branches,
Magnificent red hibiscus, fragrant mogra and roses,
I’m mesmerized by these and the gaily fluttering butterflies.
Soaking in these beautiful colors, flavors and sights,
Illuminating the darkest nooks of my soul shining bright,
Unmindful of the what, where, why and when,
Get down to work-my camera, I and my pen.
Scribbling some new verses, spinning a few tales,
Humming a melody, capturing hesitant but sweet smiles,
Under the mysterious shadows dotting a silver night,
A dark horizon lit up by stars, twinkling bright.
The pitter-patter of droplets on the misty windows,
The tiny-tots floating paper boats in the tiny streams,
Cackling lightning and booming thunder,
Stir a storm of memories-sweet, gentle and bitter.
The desperate cry of a lone warbler lovelorn,
The echo of silence on a waning, dark night,
Bring to my somnolent eyes some dreams unknown,
And set the doused embers of forgotten aspirations alight.
A keen eye behind the lens of the camera,
An unsated heart expressing itself through the blue ink,
Nimble fingers tapping on the laptop keyboard,
Treasure the moments for posterity, strum a new spirited chord.
I may be getting old, but I am not done with life yet,
I may be alone but blissful is the still young, expectant heart,
My time may be limited but my soul is soaring free,
And to feel alive again I need just myself, only me!
Published here earlier.
Image source: a screengrab from English Vinglish