She lay there in the cramped quarters waiting for the end to come. The ears pricked as the door was gruffly opened and a menacing hand appeared in search of a neck, it really did not matter whose. A flurry ensued, as everyone tried to stay clear of those grizzly fingers, feathers flew, bodies crushed, wings torn, in the maniacal rush.
Somehow, she had enough and she edged closer towards the searching fingers, only to be brushed aside. Finally, a neck was gripped, the door creened further as the unwilling body was dragged behind the neck. After some frenetic bawling, there was a snap and all went hush again; both outside and within the cage.
I wish I could console the distressed chicken and tell her that my world is not much unlike hers. I too live in a frenzied world, that is all just bothered to save its own neck. If only she knew, there is little difference between the coop and the corporate.
‘Ek Boond’ is a poem in Hindi that has stuck with me since my schooldays. Even in those days, I liked it though I never properly could have understood its poignant subtext. The whole imagery of an unsure, nervous and jittery raindrop caught in self doubt while leaving her home in the clouds, was and is still one of the most evocative texts I have chanced upon. Little wonder then that the ‘Ek Boond’ not only found home in a waiting pearl shell but also in my heart and mind.
And as I age and increasingly have to uncomfortable decisions in my life that engineer the flutter of butterflies in my tummy, I keep returning to the lines etched by Ayodhya Singh Upadhyaya ‘Hariaudh’. His ‘Ek Boond’ gives me hope and assurance that in spite of all the odds and the quirks of fate, there is someone up out there, probably up above, looking after us and helping us out, like sending a gust of wind to push our Boond into the shell, where she eventually turned into a pearl.
Today, again as I venture out of my comfort zone and into the world unknown, I can’t help but remember the nervous and jittery raindrop that too had ventured out of her comfy home in the clouds. Hopefully, there is a shell out there waiting for me, like it was for her. Hopefully!!!
Here is the text of poem: Continue reading