From yonder horizon the waves are racing to the shore
And crestfallen they, with sudden outbursts of ah!
Finding nothing engrossing over here, grieving a wasted venture.
Then I saw that man passing by, heaving many a sigh.
The weather-beaten frame still held its once-healthy look
The bow-bent body, giving cue to the weight it shouldered
The faltering steps repenting each step they took
The desultory gait skeptical of what lay ahead.
He squatted on a dune tucking his legs into the sand
Oblivious of the Dolphin*, and the waves kissing his feet.
Children were building houses meeting hands from end-to-end
With few elves tumbling over them and mock-fighting with delight.
Curious he seemed, immune to surrounding mirth
Infectious any time, but, it barely touched his loom,
The reason for his recluse, I was tempted to gauge its girth,
His story, it’s my hunch, had a veil of dark enveloping gloom.
My interest in him, grew with the rising grain of corn,
After repeated requests, he yielded to recount.
He was a peasant, patience incarn,
Famines and plenitudes with equal poise did account:
“Each fragrant morn and each breezy eve did usher
A dayful of work and nightful of leisure
Seasons were regular, and so was the produce
A loreless folk were we, yet, with passion our flock embrace
“Pleasures and pains did all of us in unison share
Haps and mishaps, as bravely did we divvy and pare
All of us in accord did live and work with will
Till all of a sudden, befell that cancerous evil.
“Middlemen from town bought out our lands and lads
Enticing them to ill-earned gains and towny fads
Followed them suit the calves… herd, farm were forlorn,
Rendering country landscape … barren and shorn.
“Honesty is seduced when dishonesty scot-free prospers
And the heart stretches its hand to whatever eye peers,
No longer were our desires immune to town’s attractions
We aspired beyond our peaceful life and dispositions
“City is a sea that enriches itself by engulf
All sundry effluence, the likes of me
Save those with enterprise, courage and calf
Can rarely prosper tapping its alchemy.
“We are to middlemen what cattle are to us,
Feeding on grass to yield smilingly milk,
Too late we realized, as an already cast dice
As much as it turns up, is the worth of our ilk.
“The gains of town and the lures therein,
Bleared our vision fore we learnt ‘Home is Heaven’,
Once strong and rich, as time trickled fast
Realized how feeble in limb and volition opposed to the past.
“The leisure loving limbs are now averse to exercise,
The rot routine life, lacked wholesome enterprise
To get back to the village, we are embarrassed, have no face
Than to live in shame, death is honorable twice.
“Starting from chaos some people reach order
As, from mid-sea, the wave reaches its shore,
But some start from peace to end up in chaos
Seeking after the horizon, to end up mid-seas.
“Wants haunt man to seek after mirages
Spending his prime, seeking after images,
Here we came in search of rank and riches
But ended up collecting only Pebbles and Pisces.”
*Dolphin’s Nose is a famous hill jetting into the Bay of Bengal on the shores of Visakhapatnam, a Port City in Andhra Pradesh, India.