Life is funny that way, oozing poetry out of insignificant corners. A friend of mine, who visited acropolis in her childhood, says that she all that remembers about that place is the steps being too big for her to climb. That is the most memorable thing for me about Greece–the abode of Gods, the cradle of the great civilization, measured in the footsteps of a child! Who says there is no poetry in life? Didn’t the bard say?
kaLLanToo unTE choosi, vaakkunTE vraasee! (కళ్ళంటూ ఉంటే చూసి, వాక్కుంటే వ్రాసీ)
Then it is not always easy to the poetry in life. Life is funny that way, forcing people to fight every step of the way. Of course, often the "wise" people explain to them they suffer as retribution from God or market forces. What they don’t explain is how to get better. These doctors are interested only in diagnosis, not prognosis!!
What was I telling you about? Ah, poetry!! The rhythmic meters of yester years or the experimental poems of the modern day are not what I am referring to. I am trying to remember the events in life, not necessarily mine, where poetry comes out of unseen quarters. All I remember is in abstract and nothing concrete materializes, as the poet of the poets says:
gaali visarula taavilaa paaripOtoo padma patra mivambhasa jaaripOtoo (గాలి విసరుల తావిలా పారిపోతూ, పద్మ పత్ర మివాంభసా జారిపోతూ)
The memories behave the same.
May be when you were a baby, your mother took you out into the moonlight and sang gently in that night. May be the coconut leaves were gently swaying in that cool breeze. May be even you were smiling then. It could have been a poetic memory, but alas, you don’t remember it.
Then there was the beginning of youth. It was the time when girls you played with till few years ago look mysterious. You begin to see them with strange fascination. Every smile looks suggestive and every look alluring. The scent of jasmine precedes them and a hint of unexpressed sexuality follows them. Your five senses don’t seem enough to absorb the budding sensual force. You want to capture that essence with a whisper, a suggestion of intrigue, and may be a kiss. But there are fetters on your feet and shutters in your eyes. Your imaginations pass into dreams and you become an adult.
Being an adult is different; you dream little, for you dream responsibly. There will be poetry on some tired evening, when a remembered memory comes across the mind, triggered by some shared laughter. On a cool Sunday morning, languid limbs seek out the person lying next. The excitement of the mystery is now replaced by the comfort of the familiar. In such semi-consciousness, some poetry seeps by.
As you grow old does poetry disappear? Not entirely. The emerging new life rejuvenates poetry in your life. You will rediscover it in the smile of the infant, the first faltering step of the baby, and the affectionate hug of the child. Then you realize life itself is poetry, and it will live on forever.
Sep 7, ’94.