He had had no name.
Love was all that beckoned him
To his mother
Or to me.

I called him many things.
Even Raju
When Raju and I had had a fight.
I couldn’t punch Raju then,
But decided to punch him.
He came to me
The next time I called him.

He would stand facing me
And let me scratch his broad chin
While I told him stories
Of school
And space travel.
He mooed every time
Flash Gordon shot
A monster.

He would urinate
While listening to
Terrible scenes
And the terrible odour
Was like garlic needles
Thrust up my nose.

I think I loved him
Because I kissed his wet nose
And let him lick my palm
With his sandpaper tongue.
I would also stick out my elbow
So that he would scrape
Where the mosquito had bitten me.

He would place his
Split hoof on my leg
And stamp it with dung.
That was our parting goodbye.

But one day I returned
To the cowshed.
And didn’t find the nameless one.
I asked Ahmad-bhai
While he held the bucket
Between his knees
And tugged on the teats
Of a Jersey.
He asked me to go home.

I didn’t know what to call out
Perhaps I should have named him.
Perhaps that is why everyone
Want a name for things they have.
To call out to it
In the dark nights
Of an empty day.

TeacherThen I saw him
Cradled in the arms of
Ahmad-bhai’s helper.
He carried it lightly
With two stiff legs
Against his back
And two on his tummy.
He placed it near the udders of
The only other person
Who called out with love.
After a few minutes
He was pushed aside
And fell to the ground –
A piebald lacuna.

That is when I knew
That life is a charade of stuffed memories.


5 thoughts on “Charade

  1. # Very sweet and moving content. You as the protagonist are very very sweet, the calf too and its mother too. Every single interaction between you and the calf is nibbleably cute as a button, sticking out your elbow for a scrape on a mosquito bite or mooing at Flash Gordon’s monster killing. Your ideas are most original and in this case delightful. # Cannot you ever ever write happy stuff? You must have had a dreadful childfood, if I may Freud you a bit…# But seriously, Eroteme, this is Bad poetry (why why why? – couldn’t you give us the fifth draft instead of the first?). As you too probably knew, and hence the label to the post reads “poetry?”, the question mark being the key I suppose…Don’t do this again please – get at least the rhythm right, even if it is the cakewalk of poetry “Free Verse” that you adopt for a poem you intend to write.

  2. Dear P,Glad you found the content enjoyable. I suppose I could write happy stuff, but not sure whether a happy story (not just a happy ending one) ever made an interesting tale!! πŸ˜‰ Let me give it a shot, since you insist. I had a reason for putting up this post, because it falls well into the scheme of things which would necessitate my most recent post!! πŸ˜€ BTW, how dare you talk about my child food!? My mom was and still is an excellent cook and she brought me up pretty well.

  3. :-D.Brought you up pretty well indeed! – we all know the effect of the (child – )food or the hood, as is evident in all your posts!

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