By Tribhuwan N. Bhan
In March 1948, when my mother was recalled to the Eternal
Home; GRIEF took her place for me.. I was accompanied by GRIEF wherever I went,
so much so, that I fell in love with it and thus I nursed it with tender care.
As I grew up, my GRIEF also grew along with me. Sometimes it
provided me with delightful episodes, which proved to be memorable indeed. We
developed a strange and inexplicable bond with each other. My GRIEF never left
my side, it stood by me through thick and thin, while my near ones left me high
and dry, when I needed them the most. The world around was lovable as it sailed
smoothly like a swan in a lake. We had tender feelings for each other.
In conversing with each other during day or night, time flew, as
I dreamed of a strange future which could exist only in thoughts but not indeed.
When overwhelmed with GRIEF, I would recite a sad song, my
neighbours would be overwhelmed by the melancholy tone and would sit and listen
in rapt attention.
While walking side by side, the onlookers would gaze at us and
talk in low tones to others around, appreciating our companionship and
togetherness. I was indeed proud of my GRIEF as people took notice of me because
of my GRIEF.
All things have to leave this world and one day my GRIEF also
left me, leaving me alone in this sordid world.
Now, when I walk in the streets, no one takes notice of me as my
gait has undergone a metamorphosis. From slow soft-touch steps of royal
sophistication they have changed to brisk strides of a soldier, reminding others
of hateful war. When I sing a song, no one comes to listen. They find the once
sad sounds of sorrow, loss or pain, as that of ‘The Solitary Reaper’ in poet
Wordsworth’s poem of that title; which used to touch the heart-strings of
listeners and move them to tears are absent from my songs.
Only when I go to sleep, I hear strange far off ancestral voices saying, “His
companion has betrayed him!”