Scientific Research Fellow in University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
The Mother Ganges is flowing through Sodhpur,
on her left bank there is a prison-
no criminal is there, only there are old parents,
whose sons and daughters have failed to take their care.
Old parents are imprisoned-
their fault is they are old,
very much like a pair of slippers-
there’s no use of keeping them
but they are kept in the corner for years
because of pity or sympathy or compassion.
The name of the prison is ‘Old Age Home’-
no jailer is there, burden of age is the jailer oneself.
Timely they get food and water,
relax on the small bed full of bed bugs,
sanitation is dirty here.
One thing is different-
they don’t have to do any hard work,
some sing, some recite, some sit quietly, some cry,
some enchant hymns, some walk, some sleep.......
Destiny is so cruel-
once they had served their children
but during their old age they are rotting in prison.
The ruthless time has murdered the word ‘care’.
Light falls on the bed of Ganges
but avoids this dark prison-
where there is no care, there is no light.
Wind plays with the ripples of Ganges
but hardly supplies fresh oxygen to the prisoners,
who suffer from suffocation day and night-
where there is no care, there is no oxygen.
Heat warms the water of Ganges
but the prison shivers in cold
as no warmth touches its soul-
where there is no care, there is no warmth.
All over there are millions of prisons,
they are dark, suffocating and cold,
the jailer is the burden of age,
the ruthless time has murdered the word ‘care’.
The Ganges is the eye witness of this cruel destiny.
© 2021 Sankhajit Bhattacharjee