Perceiving my anthropology

* * *

I don’t know what moves him.
I remember the day he came back home to
hide his red eyes behind that newspaper
after he lit his mother’s pyre.
This is the man, the brunt of all my emotions,
whose lifetime fits in this poem.

It’s mostly the appalling nature of his silence.
Some days, I take matters into my own hands,
and pick up the phone..
“Please tell me any worries you have dad?”
He laughs that kind laugh of his..
But then lets the static take care of the rest of it.

I assume a lot of this fraught silence.
“Does he miss me?”
I don’t know what misgivings and insecurities
or grievances harass him.
I don’t know his physical angst, his lost loves
or his subdued ambitions.

He’s lived through my mocks of how he packed two shirts for
his week long trips.
And continues to have the same lack of passion for his rusty blades.
I was mad at him for not being meddlesome,
his passive rearing showing itself in his compassion.
And only now realize how the cruelest of us were a little kinder around him.

He was the monk who has never caught sight of the Himalayas.
Never demanding our obedience,
confident enough to just leave us to our fate.
And the feeling is mutual,
as I trust him to his own karma,  
because he hasn’t wronged anyone, right?

It drives me crazy when he exhibits overwhelming passion as he
wanders airports or bus terminals aimlessly for a hotspot,
Is his life in vain?
But my duties of propagating
his teachings to my offsprings hold those thoughts in place.
“Did I tell him how grateful and thankful I am for everything?”

Now, when I let people take advantage of me and
give away money like it grows on trees…
I think of a quality of equanimity I used to hate,
that earned him his legions of fans..
I would give you a mental picture if I could..
I share his nose and that balding head too.

On the long walks he made me go on those early mornings,
Why didn’t I just cheerfully go for his sake?
Did I leave him with good memories while growing up?
Where he was once an enigma from his youth is now
a source of constant worry..
“Does that glare bother him, is he stumbling?”

The only macho side I’ve seen is how he hides his love for me,
without openly expressing it.
“Does his heart beat to my words in his ears?”
What’s our love,
if not for its guessing game?
If I had held back on that line, I will not make a great poet.

I spend time in a lot of regret, I don’t know his dreams
And I wish I had seen the youth in him.
“Was he passionate about anything?”
Was there wonder in his eyes when he first saw me,
that I had the potential to change his life
and of others?? 

*

— Originally written on 06/06/2016 at 2:06am. 

* * *

2 Comments

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  1. viswanadham chebolu September 13, 2016 — 1:01 am

    We think we know the man you have described. Your perspective of that man is very endearing. Almost as endearing as the man himself.

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