Friday, September 24, 2010

Complaint

So only now
You have found
The way to our house
All these years
You did not even care
To find out
What happened to us
Whether we were alive
Or dead.
Then my aunt started crying
Recalling my uncle's death.
I could have pointed out
That they hadn't visited or called us either
But there was no point
In visiting a blood relation
For old time's sake
And getting embroiled in family logbooks.
Suddenly time thundered between us
Like a non-stop train
Drowning out every thought.
After the sniffles subsided
I listened to her complaints
Against her son, daughter-in-law and grandson
Who lived close by
But rarely visited her.
I remembered my mother
Who had similar grievances
Against me
Though I lived so far away
That I couldn't visit often
And had other serious reasons
I could not tell even her.
I promised to persuade
My cousin to visit her
"Don't expect your daughter-in-law
To shower affection on you
It is just against nature."
This made her smile
I gave her the sweets
She was once fond of.
"Once in a while
You can have them
Without worrying about your sugar level."
When it was time for me to leave
I stood up with an apology.
"I've booked my ticket on the night train
I've just about enough time to pack.
I'll talk to him, don't worry."
I began a silent prayer
For all of us
Then stopped at the sheer absurdity of it
Nothing would change
I saw myself years hence
In her position
Like others before her
Complaining against life
But blaming someone else.

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