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The other end of life… Ghantasala Nirmala

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Know not where we have come from…

Nor how the lustrous drive… stretching endlessly…

Tapers off to a trail of luminescence…

And gets engulfed in the endless sooty sea…

Aren’t they true?

Among us those

Cheerful pubescent countenances

Beauteous black mascara streaks…

Or, is it only a myth?

Should all these wits and shades of moon wilt under funeral band?

Has the cradle of death for eons been rocking man to eternal sleep?

Stretching her icy hand

Does Damsel Death continue to steal the lukewarm human heaving?

For that matter, if one of us were to leave suddenly

What would happen to these enthralling tunes, oceans of excitement,

Shake-hands,

The sensuous cheeks that pulse to the caressing strum of a nail,

Lukewarm emotions, blazing noons, nano-noted nights?

Who knows what?

Does moon then still yearn for us?

At least, will an eye get wet in grief?

Does the dank darkness deliver a shimmering jewel like us?

Who knows! Who knows!

Our having flinged the die-hard death amidst so many ‘who knows’s…

Arriving coolly as a guest at the most unexpected hour

Does she bite the knot of breath, in a breath?

Like a staggering slate-pencil,

Doesn’t she squiggle the death-sentence?

Is it inevitable that the sudden silence should abruptly scissor

The world we so immensely love,

And the capering activity around?

And walk over us?

Must the corporeal cease? Should laughter be so short-lived?

Is Departure the terminal truth?

I know that the other end is all darkness.

Pushed out of this body,

I would be an ethereal …colorless, shapeless disjoint chain

The truth …that once I get separated,

With the haplessness of lacking shape, taste or voice

I would remain watching the hiccoughs wailing over me…

Is the worm … that eats into

The pleasant fruit of the present.

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Telugu Original: Ghantasala Nirmala.   1.11.06

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