A train of thought

The smiling face of Helios has never seemed fairer,

Then when it peeps from behind those familiar hills.

The deep azure of the winter day sky

Forces awed beholders to call it Shillong blue.

A smile is about taking its rounds across town.

The cherry trees in their full glory shower

Unsuspecting passers with colorful pink rain.

Little streams running in a frenzy to reach

An unknown pair of tired feet, comforted by its touch.

The eucalyptus fragrance filling every sense

With a very basic joy of childhood memories.

 

I was just a seed when I stumbled upon your glory;

A little sapling enchanted and captivated.

I fell upon a tiny patch of land,

Just for me that I knew I would never share.

Many seasons passed, as I became strong and tall.

Many storms tried to shake me, distract

But my sight stayed fixed upon —

Unchanging you, beautiful you…

I was ready to bear fruit when, they came…

Fury in heart, axes, sticks and stone in hand…

Their poisoned tongues shouting abuses at me.

“You are a vile foreign tree”, they said,

All the while hacking at my trunk.

“How dare you defile our land, our mother with your roots!”

Sap ran from through my bark, from the wounds

Silently flowing, for they could not hear me scream.

They could not understand my soft tongue…

The final blow struck and I fell ready to die.

But then you spoke to me, you said…

“Worry not, my child, your seasons have not ended;

The patch of land that you claimed, as your own

Shall remain, for, you leave your roots with me…

Your death was kind, now those minions

Who kill in my name, are going to poison me,

Strip me, stab me with many knives.

Until I cease to be mother, to you and even to them.”

 

Helios still rises now, with glee

From between those craggy hills.

The deep azure still blankets

The town in Shillong blue,

The smile though has finished doing the rounds,

And rests in pain upside down.

Nachiketa Deb

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