R K Narayan’s Spirits

This is a tale of an author, Indian.
R K Narayan, whose Malgudi tales are superlative fun.
One night he sat up late musing,
When he heard on the window pane,
some distinctive knocking.
Well past midnight, the clock on the wall displayed.
The sound to him at that moment didn’t make sense.
 
Morning came with the news
about death of an old aunt;
She had died past midnight,
around the time,
the knocking on the window had been heard.
The author, in his autobiography
talks of this experience and explains-
The sound was that of a spirit, his aunt’s,
trying to establish connection
Before moving on.
This is my attempt to convert into verse, what the famous Indian author R K Narayan has described in his autobiography-"My Days". I have been quite intrigued ever since I read this. Not sure if this is true but since he has mentioned it in his autobiography, I wonder if there isn't an element of truth in his words? Leave it to everyone's interpretation. 

Reincarnation

There's warmth in the air.
A familiarity in the smells
That waft up to his senses.
Recollections come,
Wrapped in a blanket of haze.
And his smile begins to break.

Is that a school
visible in the distance?
Wonder why it looks so familiar
When did I come here last?
And then, his smile begins to break.

How many years has it been now?
His mind tries to calculate
The years that he had been away
Where is the pond
with its brilliant white lilies?
Was there someone
who used to beckon me to its banks?
Then, his smile begins to break.

Why have I come here?
He bids his mind to recollect
A sense of connect I feel;
Established many years back, from present?
Did someone, long ago
Made me promise
To come back here one day?
Why do I perceive
the soul of the ancient
Under the garb of modern?
He stands and ponders.
The smile then,
Sometimes of recollection,
Sometimes of bewilderment,
Plays on his face.

Copyright @ Goutam Dutta

Like Autumn Leaves

Words wish to fly away.
Like those dry leaves
on an autumn’s day.
Words that have dried up,
Have nothing worthwhile to offer any more
By way of solace,
Or advise,
Or for that matter comfort.
 
They were once full of life!
Coloured in hues,
Rippling with energy,
Growing inside the head and
Springing forth from lips.
 
Burdened with my melancholy,
Today they are unwanted.
Dry, yellowed with my stale dreams
They simply fall away;
 like the dried leaves in autumn.
 
In their final hours,
They only wish to be blessed
With a tear or two of someone,
whose heart it may have touched once;
Like those dew drops at dawn
On fallen leaves of autumn.

Copyright @ Goutam Dutta

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