All in a day’s work

a poem by Seshu Chamarty

Little kid, I was, in prime innocence.
Parents vying with siblings overwhelming in competition.
First puff on a discarded cigarette butt; fisticuffs with bullies.
First dip in the pool: tryst with bicycle.
First movies at the matinees: fast flips through glossy covers.
Provoking mouthfuls, chasing matrons: peeping through keyholes.
Gusty truancy and naughty pranks: lusty laughter with abandon.
Anxiety, thrill, fright, excitement and gaiety essayed the time.


I become an adult, gaining new consciousness.
Strange frontiers, swaying like rock and roll.
Late shows with dates, lusty fun with gang.
Lugubrious mornings under covers, libidinous evenings under open sky.
Careless boisterousness: adventures and indulgences marked the time.


Man, I was called, grabbing my first job ever.
New money and freedom were setting new horizons.
Could-buy-this-world feeling and throwing weight around.
Badly needed noticing for the ‘unique potency’ syndrome.
Compulsive adoration and compelling obedience at any cost.
New love and old infatuation; making new compromises.
Marriage followed suit; ‘turning in with script?’
Blessed with children; inevitable mirror images ensue.
New errands surfacing; new commitments on call.
Pulled strings for a raise; new jealousies close on heels.
One-upmanship; no regrets looking back.
Not all are satisfied; isn’t everybody like I am, yours truly?
Frustration growing; snaring gaps.
Wife no comfort, but for that familiar acquiescing throb.
Time labored playing the mettle, I played the balancing role.


I was a man in Middle Ages, insisted old pals.
New responsibilities forcing attention everywhere.
Children threatened for controls; new generation and new gaps.
House warming sans warmth; budget upheavals.
Failed investments; stunted growth.
Ensuring children’s future; inevitable self-denial.
“Can’t catch up,” “All is not in planning,” etc.


In brooding sadness and gathering silence,
I acquired an old man’s status.
Hearing the clock ticking loud for the deaf ear; a first sense of fear.
Pressure of blood telling on mercury; albeit, curiosity of doctors.
Bleak future for children’s marriage; scarcity of matches and class.
World looked cunning and greedy, need to change glasses.
In-laws advancing menacingly, outlaws threatening lawfully.
Retired at last gracefully; left alone with the wife.
Gone is office car; need to walk a mile for vegetables.
Aimless flicking of channels; an idiot’s tear or two for the favorite soap.
Identity crisis, solitariness and remorse shaded the time.


I turned into a hopeless man,
Knowing for sure that all youth wastes; wisdom speaks.
Wife understood in the bargain; help in kitchen for sins forgiven.
Many are sinning still; a comforting thought, nevertheless.
Yet sleep is failing like the essence of time lost forever.

All in a day’s work.