“through the act of living, the discovery of oneself is made concurrently with the discovery of the world around us. . ."

Saturday, July 11, 2009

When I am no more

Standing, as often I do, beneath my old mango tree,

I wonder how it would look without the leaves.
Without the mangoes, without the branches
Without the birds that sit preening on them.
The thick trunk sawed off, roots pulled out
Tiles or cement choking the earth.

For one, sunlight would be brighter; and glare
Upon the tiled roof of my house.
No more yellowed leaves to sweep away in the morning.
No more bird droppings to wash off
No more bat-eaten, splattered mangoes.
No more flies swarming around
No more air, thick
With the smell of the ripe, golden fruits.
No more, the tapping of the woodpecker
No more, the screeching kites.
No more, the night heron resting
No more, the crows squabbling
No more, the squirrels scuttling.

No more, the wind-dance of the branches
No more, the chatter of leaves.
No more, the creaking swing
No more, the green, greeting my eyes.
No more, I, the boy
who gazed up the tree, longing,with love.

I look around for a fallen twig -
Last mangoes of the season dangle in the sky.
*********** Balachandran, Trivandrum,10.07.09


  1. Balan, you assemble life in bits and pieces like a puzzle placing them so exquisitely for excellent pondering. Life is like a game of chess; As I watch the happenings,I somehow find myself standing with you in this place of looking at the metaphorical dangling.


  2. The things that annoy us the most about a person, like a wet towel on the bed, slippers lying haywire, the wardrobe door kept open and sweaty shirts, are the things that will be missed terribly when the cause of the annoyance ceases to exist. Thats human nature like the hindi song..na jaane kyon hota hain yeh zindagi ke saath...

    Keep writing, take care

  3. Why is death so hard to comprehend? Why is it so hard to take a philosphical stand on it ?
    It is so surreal , and after the loved one has departed , one's mind simply refuses to accept that they are no more...it is so hard to sink in.

    And like sujata said , what wouldn you give to get annoyed by that person again?

    Wonderful writing.

  4. @gymnast: Because death is cessation of existence. What is it you if you don't exist? And every death of a known person is a reminder of your own. You can philosophize, avoid it - or simply accept it. I see a lot of my contemporaries ( in their early 50s) shy away from the topic - more, from the topic of aging - they dye their hair, fix their hair, go on diets, crash fitness programmes- remind them about their age - they fly into a rage! Pathetic!

  5. going through those lines, I was reminded yet again, how wonderfully full of life are the so-called 'ordinary moments'. If only one would take a look around. listen closely. observe. taste the air. reflect. If only we could silence more often, the cacophony of memory and fear continuously being played inside our mind, and take in the richness of each moment fully. I think we only live to realize the beauty of such moments. The rest of life is just spent waiting for moments such as these to happen.

  6. an everyday scene: a mangotree by a house. And yet, if only one would contemplate, the richness of it. Unfortunately, for most of us, it is only in retrospect that it becomes apparent

  7. You look like a country man sir, and the feelings of the country resonate in your words, your connection with a tree is amazing!!!!!!! Well written.........

  8. @ venu: thanks, 'coz I value your words!
    @gopu/bluebird: Awareness, Gopu is all what life is about. That is all you can do, to be aware of each and every moment, each and every breath, each and every thing around you, till you pass on to non-existence in the physical world. One cannot do much about the ways of man, of ingratitude to nature. If there be a God, it is nature - it has given you all you have; it is you.

    @prithvi: thanks for coming, P. I am not a countryman. These are the things around all of us, though fast disappearing. One can only look at all that with a tinge of sorrow. The mango tree is also my parents; my green and beautiful world; all the good things in life; myself...

  9. while reading the many 'no-more',as usual,i expected a striking ending which is the most powerful characteristic of your poems..u never disappoint :)

  10. @extremity: the many 'no more' may seem tedious; I did it purposefully to emphasise the 'no more' of many things. You would know that mango tree is felled when there is a death in the house. The timber is used for cremation. the mango tree represents all those old, traditional things, including old people - and the not so old yours truly! :D

  11. I liked your blog very much.Its very nice and I appreciate for your beautiful post.Now I have become your follower so I will be visiting your blog.You are welcome in my blogs.


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