Ever since I have

no deadlines to meet

or face the tyranny

of a work routine,

everyone I encounter

looks askance at me,

appearing to say:

“You’ve all the time

in the world,

lucky you!”

Perhaps, truly,

I am working things out

for myself

and less for others.


The luck alluded to

appears valueless

as those around

are indifferent to

the invitations I extend

for perceiving

what is written between

the lines I have read

attentively, very attentively,

or the subtexts that I have heard

beneath the words uttered.

“You are growing old and stubborn,”

I am warned.


I also don’t wish

that anyone  who matters to me


the memorable lines of a great book,

or the frames of a wonderful film,

or the strains of imaginative music

that transports me, now and then,

to nirvana.

“That’s all fine for you,

but leave us alone,”

is the constant refrain.


I remain therefore

alone in my happiness

and understanding

which transmutes gradually

into a strange sorrow

as what is happiness or knowledge,

I ask,

if it is incapable of being


and which I am unable

to convince others

to partake

since some things wonderful

and worth looking into

are really being

missed ?


p16 (c) pradeep gopalan





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