I Look Back Neither in Pain or Despair – Babu’s Soliloquy from Heaven

 I have been in the pastures of heaven now for about five weeks:
Quiet and unhurried, swimming in a painless existence,
Everyday is grand, every event here is magical,
Life lifts in blissful ecstasy, serenading the colossal majesty of the cosmos.


Every since I arrived here I have had no time to think on my earlier existence,
But now I am slowly drifting in that direction:
I see a lot of affectation and wishful thinking by people on earth,
Lot of foolish customs and rituals, foolish hopes.


Good people struggle for existence while bad people have it made so easy,
Relationships are often sweet lies, selfishness often holds the sway,
Love is often a wrong word used by people when they should have been saying my- interest,
Modern lifestyles have reduced life to mere self-interest and physical enjoyment.


I do not recall the scooter-truck accident,
That shattered my life beyond any repair,
I have stitched a timeline out of others’ recalls,
A futile effort to give semblance of order in my tragedy.


When life’s center-of-gravity shatters any efforts to fix it is a waste,
One must accept one’s defeat and live for small kicks,
Have you seen flowers blossoming after a storm blows them off,
To accept life without a personal reward is the greatest sacrifice one can make.


For forty-seven years I labored to exist,
Without a job, wife, or children,
There was no ambition for which I would have willingly bled,
There was no dream for which I would have broken my right arm.


I was on a road without a destination,
Travelling without a purpose or reward,
Life was a garment stitched in days,
Weeks rolled into months; months melted in years.


My relatives treated me with tenderness, love, and friendship,
They would never ask me if I was bored, lonely, or depressed,
Their pleasant inquiries were keenly edited,
To make a false impression that I was having a great life.


I had nowhere to go but forward,
Past was my death-knell, future did not exist,
Present was my life,
I was a prisoner within its walls.


While parents were alive there was someone to ask me,
Whether I had eaten anything, whether I was tired,
There was someone to give a loving look,
A warm voice saying goodbye or welcome.


With their exit I lost the greatest human touch in my life,
After that my life was a long stretch of vast loneliness,
But I did not fold or bend,
Kept my life on the fast-track.


I went to several libraries every day to catch up the news,
Eat at Mac three times,
Retired home by 9, slept by 11,
Looking to another day.


Many years passed thus,
And started showing a mark,
I began losing interest in the libraries,
I thought I must work.


I sent several hundred applications but none was acknowledged,
I started becoming depressed,
What to do, where to go,
End seemed to raise its head.


As my curtain started to draw down
I reflected on my life,
How I spent forty-seven years in
Silent struggle, unshed tears, permanently jailed in loneliness.


People pitied my existence
But never speaking a word about it to me,
I pulled my own iron curtain,
Never telling them my true feelings.


At times I wondered why I was being punished so severely,
As I had committed no sin in my life,
But then the thought came that it may have been from the past life,
I was sentenced to life imprisonment without a judge or jury.


Coming here I feel I could not have done better on earth,
All I had was a strong will to live,
I did not believe in chest-thumping,
Life has only one purpose: stand up and walk ahead.


The big drama about human life is that people believe
There is a moral code attached to it,
It is a dream flying by the wind of chance,
It is thrilling as long as it is in the air.


I did my prison-time on earth as best I could,
I shed as few tears as I could,
I complained about my pain as little as I could,
Do not make me a hero, I was only doing my duty.


Suffern, New York, September 11, 2019


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