Remembering grandfather

Our large home was run over with guests
most of whom I had neither seen nor  met
but such was the force of personality of my grandfather
people from far- flung areas had come to pay him last respects.

Mild-mannered but with a spine of steel
a connoisseur of food
a stern dad but a doting grandfather
his passion for movies, he persued with zeal.

My mom was running around harried and tired
making everyone comfortable, bone-weary though she was
dad was red-eyed yet composed
coming to terms with the fact, his father had expired.

Though surrounded by women, grandmother was all alone
being commiserated over her loss
she was a feisty woman but that day she sat
silent and distant, as if carved out of stone.

There were scores of children, running all over
unaware of the gravity of situation
elders tried to keep them quiet
but those tykes were no pushovers.

Since last night when grandfather had passed away
no one in the immediate family had eaten a morsel
he was of the ripe old age of ninety
so a grand feast (after his cremation) was underway.

The priest called for my uncle; the eldest son
as preparations for final rites were being made
everyone looked high and low
where could he have disappeared, for this was just not done!

Upset at his absence, my grandmother bellowed his name
out came he from the pantry, all flustered
his mouth stuffed, naan in his hand
contrite and embarrassed; his face red with shame

“I just went to check that the seasoning is alright”, he stuttered
as grandfather’s favourite food was being prepared
uncle’s rumbling stomach couldn’t resist the aromas
and he had reached for the hot naan buttered!

All gathered burst into stifled smirking fits
shaking their heads and clucking in disapproval
my grandmother too could not help smiling
my uncle, too flabbergasted to gather his wits.

My practical grandmother immediately made an announcement
there and then, putting her grief aside
henceforth there would be no fasting in our family
come death or any other bereavement.

Thanks to my uncle and his insatiable hunger
on that somber day of cremation
at every solemn occasion of death in the family
with a smile as homage, our grandfather we all remember.

Written for dVerse poetics. Today’s host, Mish, has asked us to write a poem commemorating a loved one we have lost, in the spirit of  Dia De Los Muertos, the “Day of the Dead”.

*According to our scriptures, cremation cannot take place after sunset. As long as the dead body is at home, fire cannot be lighted, hence no cooking. Thus neighbours and friends chip in and bring food and beverages for the bereaved family till the cremation takes place.



Time, O Time, do wait!
it cannot be curtains yet
some chapters are still left
the body may be but a mound of sand
ravaged by time’s waves
but the heart smoulders still
with many a pain to feel alive.

Time, O Time, do wait!
don’t be waylaid by the sagging shoulders
nor by papery wrinkled skin
I do gasp for breath sometimes
as they bunch in my rheumy chest
but ties of blood do help me up
their cheery voices call out to me
I think not it’s time yet

Time, O Time, don’t wait any longer!
I think I have lingered enough
death refuses to meet my eye
wavering in and out of clouds of fogginess
I hang heavy on everyone’s time
promise me an encore in another lifetime
’tis time to finally rest.

Written for Sadje’s wdys and Eugi’s weekly prompt.

Death could not us part

The evil that we do
lives much longer than us
the wily all pervasive monsters
that technology created
had me in their thrall
all my life
and now that I have shed
my mottled mortal coat
the lure of my device
has given afterlife to
my creaking, enduring bones
dear Death,  we were inseparable
you can not part us
this match made on Earth
will continue… in heaven or hell!

I would like to extend heartfelt gratitude to each one of you for your wishes, prayers and blessings. My cousin’s daughter left for Romania on Friday. My husband and I picked her up from the airport today morning. Her brother is still stuck in the hostel though he was supposed to leave this morning. There are too many kids and not enough means of transport. But we are hopeful he will leave sometime tomorrow and be here in a couple of days.

Thank you so much all. 🙏🏼

Living for today

Where do I see myself before I die
I know not, I list not
The thought of death does not make me cry
I care not, I fret not!

I know not, I list not
What future holds for me
I care not, I fret not
’bout things beyond me!

What future holds for me
Will unfold day by day
Thinking ’bout things beyond me
I spoil not my today!

What will unfold day by day
I’d rather it be a surprise
I will spoil not my today
’tis best not to crib nor criticize.

I’d rather tomorrow be full of surprise
I try my best to neither hurt nor harm
’tis best not to crib nor criticize
My mantra is to chill and be calm.

I try my best to neither hurt nor harm
The thought of death does not make me cry
My mantra is to chill and be calm
I see myself being me before I die.

End of Summer Scavenger Hunt (9)

Val of A Different Perspective is running the End of Summer Scavenger Hunt, where we have to write 13 poems in August in the prescribed form on the given topics.

Time to post my last poem on the last day of August.

13. Blitz on death

End is truth

All things die
All things end
End is nigh
End is inevitable
Inevitable is demise
Inevitable not birth
Birth is joy
Birth is beginning
Beginning to end
Beginning of life
Life is beautiful
Life can be pain
Pain to be endured
Pain can kill
Kill with weapons
Kill with words
Words are a balm
Words can be sharp
Sharp objects maim
Sharp words hurt
Hurt I retire
Hurt I hide
Hide your feelings
Hide behind walls
Walls to safeguard
Walls are haven     
Haven is home
Haven is heaven
Heaven is here
Heaven or hell
Hell on earth
Hell after dying
Dying sunlight
Dying is fated
Fated to live
Fated to endure
Endure hardships
Endure all aches
Aches my heart
Ache my bones
Bones turn brittle
Bones will be interred
Interred forever
Interred for eternity
Eternity is humbug
Eternity is truth
Truth is death
Truth is proud

With this, the August Scavenger Hunt comes to an end. Val, thanks so much for the inspiration and encouragement. Thanks fellow bloggers for taking time to read and leave encouraging words.