Sunday, December 25, 2016

Jottings : Slice of Life - 76 ( An adolescent’s failed attempt to write verse)

Jottings : Slice of Life - 76 ( An adolescent’s failed attempt to write verse)
Early yesterday morning, around 3.20 AM, I received a message from a friend with a scanned copy of the page you see before you. In those sleepy, foggy eyed moments of the day when it is difficult to focus clearly , It took few minutes for me to read what was on that page. It slowly dawned upon me the handwriting I saw there distinctly resembled mine during my younger days. It is a poem, or rather a clumsy attempt at versifying thoughts. I checked with Bhanu to confirm if the handwriting was truly mine. He confirmed, and curtly said the poem had to be only mine. I nodded.
For the life of me, I cannot remember when I wrote this, or why? or how did it end up among Bhanu’s papers at his home in Hyderabad. It is true, both of us were very close during the mid eighties, and would constantly visit each others homes frequently, but it eludes my memory on how such a poem came to written and what prompted its rather pessimistic tone. Throughout yesterday, I kept jogging my memory at regular intervals to discover some thread, a clue to the motive behind this amateurish composition, but all that I hit was a blank, dark wall and nothing more. It was almost as if I was trying to pry into a strangers life with whom I have absolutely nothing in common. Yet, the faded page with its scrawled hand writing grimly stares at me through its inky, wriggly strokes reminding me of a self which was once part of me , and is not operative in me anymore, or has disappeared so completely leaving no vestiges of its presence in my brain. Such a fragile, unreliable thing memory is?
“A desolate life” is how I have named this poem!! Only God knows why? The entire poem ( apologies for calling it one) seems more of an effort to versify thoughts , than say something true and heartfelt. Early eighties was the time I started reading literature. So attempts like these were probably my own justification on how well I had absorbed the works of great masters. I dont know? I am just speculating.
There is however one thread of thinking in this poem which has interested me for a long time; and that is : the nature of what we call this “self” or “Myself”. The resolution to this question happened only around five years ago. Therefore in a fundamental way, this poem reflects my adolescent interest in this theme. Apart from that, I would dismiss this effort as childish in its execution, and more of an attempt to prove to the world of my capability to write “poems” - which obviously, at this distance seems thoroughly misplaced and utterly unjustified.
Well, to end on a positive note, it is good to know that I had began writing more than 30 years ago. So, the seed was there. Thanks Bhanu for dusting this off your storage and sharing with me..
God bless…
Yours in mortality,
Bala


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