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Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri



A Space to Die

‘Your father is sinking day by day.
Why don’t you change your doctor, say?
The refugee medics will take their time
to grasp the afflictions of this clime.
A phanda may help, or a mantra
till you seek out Dr Gandotra.’

I had no choice but soon to call
the celebrated physician before nightfall
but father grew from bad to worse,
enfeebled, stuporous unable to nurse.

‘If all the measures fail to revive,
your patient may not long survive.
In view of his critical state
you better move before it is too late.
I can allow a few days grace
till you find another place,
but no mishaps here in my residence,
no mourning, no impertinence.’

I rushed back to my own doctor
as the condition deteriorated from hour to hour.
‘Pray prolong his life a few days
till I shift to an alternate place.
Some shots, some freak remedies,
a little breather, a slender lease.’

Off I went from door to door
to rent a space just five by four,
where father may rest in peace awhile
ere Yama takes him from exile,
to where he wishes for ever to lie
in his native place, so glad to die.

Jammu - June 1992



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