Poems by Abhimanyu Bishnu Dr.

Silent lies the night

a poem by Abhimanyu Bishnu Dr.

Silent lies the night,
Like the deceased’s shroud;
The wind brushes by,
Like the cold caress of mortality.
Slumber reigns in every household;
The voice of life has subsided.
But, I stay on my lonely vigil-
Accompanied by the stars,
Accompanied by my solitude
And my thoughts
And my happiness, my tears,
My hopes, my despair,
My courage, and my fears.

Lying under the canopy
Of the great, wide, unending sky,
My thoughts turn into a kaleidoscope
Of emotions, of events,
Of faces, of voices,
Of jovial days and ruthless nights;
My life as a vast unending sequence
That bridges yesterday and tomorrow.
Where did it go-
All that I loved?
Where did it fly-
All that I dreamt?
And when did it happen, how-
That I became what I had not been?

The night does not respond
To any of these queries;
It just stretches on
Into a vast area of darkness,
It just dulls
The blazing despair of the day;
It does not fill
The deep void within.

The last dying embers of the household lights
Burn out, one by one-
Leaving me on my silent vigil,
Accompanied only by the stars
And the cold wind
And the anticipation of another lonely night.

Death comes, in a flash of light

a poem by Abhimanyu Bishnu Dr.

The sun is ablaze, the ground is scorched
By the rays that seem to engulf
Life everywhere, in a haze of death.
The mind is on fire-
The timeless, ageless blaze of fury
That drowns out the voice of reason.
And, all around, the incendiary fumes
From the raging fires
Fill the already-noxious air.
The winds have stopped;
Perhaps even they feared
To tread the way of dancing death.
And I, all alone,
Am treading the way slowly, but surely
That will lead me to my end.
Everything is behind me-
All despair, pain and hatred;
It is an old story now.
No regrets, no sadness,
No pining for what does not come;
The mind is still, and calm.
The fires glower stronger, the fumes thicken,
The blazing earth says ‘goodbye’.
Time stands still, as if in a thrall.
Death comes, in a flash of light
That darkens out the sun,
And leads me where I have always wanted to be.

Welcome the night

a poem by Abhimanyu Bishnu Dr.

Burning like a feeble candle’s light,
To endure the coming of the night,
My spirit hovers on, along;
Ends another day that has been long.

What use life, if I live this way?
What use wealth, if the soul drains away?
What use of this solitary life?
Why bother with all the struggle, the strife?

Why bleed, my heart, if the world’s going wrong?
Why hum the strains of that forgotten song?
Why bother for love, if none’s to be found?
Why seek happiness, when none’s around?

Why cry, if none need any of your tears?
Why shout aloud, if no one hears?
Why let any of your feelings show?
The end is nigh; let it be so.

Softly fade the rays of the sun;
It’s twilight now, soon they will be gone.
Why bother to brighten the fading light?
Let darkness come, welcome the night.

The morning conversation

a poem by Abhimanyu Bishnu Dr.

The sun, when it came up this morning,
Seemed to ask me, smiling through its rays-
“Who do you want to be;
Yourself, or another?
What are your dreams, desires, hopes,
And what are you heading towards?
Can you see these walls encircling you,
Can you see impending doom in these fetters?
And you, complex amalgamation of lesh, nerves, sinew
And hopes, dreams, desires-
What do you really want
To gain from the process you call life?
Would you like it to be a petty charade
Like that of listless processionists in a rally
Or would you like it to be a joyful parade
Like that of victorious soldiers?”
This, the sun asked me
As I lay in bed in morning’s early hour.

Shortly after, the clouds came, covering the sun,
And they seemed to ask me-
“What is more important,
To set yourself free and suffer for it?
Or to be fettered, but to prosper?
To be happy might be glorious,
And freedom might seem like bliss,
But there are bindings everywhere,
There are conventions to follow,
And things to be done;
And the drone of life, dull as it may be,
Must always go on.
You may have dreams,
But it is better by far
To adapt yourself
To the realities of this world.”
Thus the clouds spoke to me,
Their prosaic tone ringing in my ears.

But then again, the cool morning breeze
Came and caressed my body,
And seemed to say-
“Be what you would like to be,
Let yourself free, let your dreams flow,
Let not the daily grind obliterate you;
And you, the one and only you,
Weather it all and come shining through.
Joyful procession, dull charade,
Whatever life becomes-
It is yours for the making,
It is yours to live;
So, set yourself free
And just be what you want to be.”

And thus, these happy tones ringing in my ears,
I got out of bed, and set forth,
One more day-
To face the struggling world.

Would you know

a poem by Abhimanyu Bishnu Dr.

Would you know
What emotions flow inside my heart
Like a torrential river
Rushing through rocky mountains?
Would you know
What depths of despair
Are hidden behind
This cheerful aspect of mine?
Would you know
Within this craggy growth of rock
Which I call my heart
What feelings you inspire?
Would you know?
Would you really know?

Would you know
That your blushing smile
Heralds happiness for me
Like the koel’s song in spring?
Would you know
That your ringing laughter
Falls upon my ears
Like raindrops on the scorched earth?
Would you know
That your happy thoughts
Sustain me throughout
Many a tormented night?
Would you know?
Would you really know?

Would you know
That those dark emeralds
Which you call your eyes
Shine all the way to my heart?
Would you know
That your happy countenance
Lights up my days
Like the sun behind the clouds?
Would you know
That your soft touch
Falls upon me
Like satin upon my awaiting skin?
Would you know?
Would you really know?

Ask your heart,
Ask your mind and soul,
Look deep inside yourself
And look deep into my eyes;
Then, you shall surely know.

Hopes of Deliverance

a poem by Abhimanyu Bishnu Dr.

When the mind begins to stretch outwards,
like an ever-flowing stream;
Expanding out in the quest
of a long-suppressed dream.

When logic loses its sting
and reality binds no more;
When emotions lash the mind
like waves on the sea-shore.

When beauty comes back to the soul
and baseness does not bind;
When hatred loses its jarring din
and love rules in the mind.

When hope comes back to free our minds
from the shackles of despair;
When bindings seem to be no more
and freedom is in the air.

When all we have is the real us,
and our hearts do not attempt;
To conceal the beauty within them
from the cruel world’s contempt.

When God comes down and lives in us,
when truth once again reigns;
Then hopes of deliverance come to the world
easing its despair and pains.

The Rites of Time

a poem by Abhimanyu Bishnu Dr.

The days go by, on and on;
A feeling of emptiness
And the echo of long-suppressed dreams-
Reality stares you in the face,
Shakes you out of your slumber
And shatters those dreams to smithereens.

A series of compromises
Throughout the day;
You ask yourself-
“Is this really me,
Or is this a masquerading imposter?”

Where are those dreams of beauty,
Of love that would not die
Of living that would benefit others,
Of a world where all are happy
And tears exist only in the imagination?

The infant grows into a child,
The child grows older
And he learns to love;
Does the adult that grows further on
Learn only to dislike?

To deceive, to destroy?
To compare, to imitate?
To have his tranquility shattered
By a world that rushes past
Without so much as saying ‘hello’?

Optimism turns to cynicism,
The burden of the years catch up
And you look back in anger
At what could have been,
At what has been lost.

And yet the days go by, on and on-
Till you find it has all gone forever.

Life

a poem by Abhimanyu Bishnu Dr.

Let’s be truthful to myself-
Life hasn’t been all fair;
It hasn’t been all that it could have been,
But then, it’s neither been all despair.
There have been promises that have been broken
And new promises have grown-
There has been success, along with failure,
Which the seed for the future has sown.

Life hasn’t been all about control
And neither all about fate;
It hasn’t been a smooth journey,
But the lessons have been great.
There’s been a lot of laughter
Along with a lot of tears,
There has been optimism and hope
And also a lot of fears.

There’s been a lot that’s made me happy,
There’s been a lot that sad;
There have been times which have been good,
And also times which were bad.
And as I think about it all,
I thank God for what’s been
A worthwhile journey at every moment,
Every step and everything that I have seen.

Monday Morning

a poem by Abhimanyu Bishnu Dr.

Monday morning, Howrah, G.T. Road;
The air hangs heavy with dust and smoke
That seems to smother me as I ride across-
Waving through a medley of rickshaws,
Cycles, buses, pedestrians-
Amidst the cacophony of blaring horns,
Amidst the traffic that flows on, incessantly-
Like a procession that celebrates
The anarchy and chaos of daily life.
The apartment houses on both sides of the road-
Some blackened, the bricks showing,
Some painted freshly in gaudy shades of yellow and pink-
Stretch up towards the sky,
As if in supplication to the almighty one
To deliver them from their plight.

Rows of shops on either side-
Sweetmeats, lassi, delicacies,
Hosiery, building material,
And the ubiquitous chai-wallah and paan-wallah.
Smoke in the distance-
Has one more building caught fire today?
The wizened old man in the tea-shop-
Hair whitened by the ages,
Skin wrinkled by the years;
Does he resemble Bhisma Pitamah?
The steam from the boiling tea,
The blackness of the coal that drives it,
The picture of Kali on the wall,
The huddle of people surrounding.
And a fair girl
In resplendent blue,
Walking across the road
And making heads turn.

And all around,
The traffic flows on
The shops do their business,
And life goes on- and on.

Imagine

a poem by Abhimanyu Bishnu Dr.

Imagine you are happy once again
Like you long, long ago, used to be;
Imagine your troubles melted away
And your body and soul set forever free.
Imagine you are flying on the wings of the wind,
Fuelled by a childlike, imaginative mind;
Imagine you are again what you used to be-
Happy, loving, trusting and kind.
Imagine the melody of a far-away tune
Floating in the wind, dancing in the breeze;
Imagine the soft caress of the rippling winds
As they fly towards you, over land and seas.
Imagine you had love, and a lot of it to spare
For those who need it, whose needs are true;
Imagine all your dreams coming to life
And all your wishes coming true for you.
Imagine you have left this cruel world behind
And all your disappointments to their rightful place;
Imagine you have left the dark nights behind
And are looking forward to happy, sunny days…

This world may be rough, life may be tough,
But your imagination can set you free;
If you imagine your life to be beautiful again-
Remember, in your mind, it can always be.

Angel

a poem by Abhimanyu Bishnu Dr.

Who be you
That walks in beauty;
With that mysterious yet incredibly sweet
Smile upon your lips?
Who beckons me to
Newer and newer depths of
Heightened admiration?
Who laughs in that
Full-throated, complete-hearted way
That I so admire?
Who give me
A warm glow deep inside
Everytime I see you?

Who be you
That causes my passions
To come tumbling out of my heart
With the force of a mountain spring?
Who means such a lot
Because of the great difference
You have made in my life?

Who be you?
I know not;
But this I know, and it suffices;
You are my angel come true.

The Journey

a poem by Abhimanyu Bishnu Dr.

I am wild, unbridled;
Untamed, though many have tried
To tame me.
The rivers of love
Run deep in me;
So do the rivers of hate.
My mind is like
The wide blue unlimited sky
That stretches across vast expanses.
I feel, I hurt, I bleed;
A vast myriad of emotions
Resides inside me.
They do not know me;
They think I am just another person,
Which I am not.

Passion resides deep in my heart-
Masked by the appearance of indifference;
Blunted by the exigencies of mundane daily life.
Wounds run deep in my mind;
They bleed all the time,
But this is visible to none.
Freedom lies deep in my soul;
But on the exterior
Chains seem to bind me.
Seldom has the person come along
Who stripped away this mask
And recognised the real me.

I am restless, I am the seeker
Of exhilarating adventures
Of the mind, body and soul.
What do I bother
What happens around me, or to me?
I know that I am secure
Even in the turmoil of
My troubled existence,
Even in the whirlwind of insecurity.
Like the rock-climber
Who pits his strength
Against the highest cliffs,
I know I shall pit my power
Against all these bindings
That threaten my existence.

I shall break free,
If not today, then tomorrow;
But someday I surely will.
My mind is constantly pitted
In a struggle
Of living versus existing, but…
The barriers shall fall
Along the way,
Like all else that threatens my living.
Today may be today,
But tomorrow is another day
That is yet to come.
I shall live the way
That I want to live;
Or I shall die trying.

What is Love?

a poem by Abhimanyu Bishnu Dr.

Love isn’t about rivalry-
It isn’t about two people
Engaged in a game of
“I’m better than you.”
It isn’t about two people
Bent on destroying each other
In a stormy and short-lasting
And intensely exhausting relationship.

It is about adjusting oneself
To the faults of the other;
It isn’t always about
Bindings and obligations;
It isn’t about finding
The person of your dreams-
It is about letting
A person make your dreams come true.

It is about letting the other person be
What he or she wants to be.
It is often full of bitterness
But often also full of happiness
And contentment at finding
A person so close to your heart.

Love isn’t about dreary drudgery-
It isn’t about
Nerve-wracking marriages and
Ear-wracking kids.
It is about the flowers
Of longing, affection and excitation
That blossom in the meadow of the heart
Of the person who cares to nurture them.

It is about youth-
Resisting, trying to break free
From the chains of
Obligations, commitments, controls and morals.
It is about lying
Underneath the blue sky
And dreaming of a life
That is never found
But which we can
Always spend our days searching.

You are young
For only so long-
And then the world casts you
Into the role of a real-life person.
As youth goes and you grow older
You find commitments all around;
You find love shattered,
Your idyllic dreams broken
And you find yourself pushed
Into a role that you
Do not like
But yet cannot leave.

As long as youth remains,
Try to reap the harvest
Of the seeds that you sowed
Of youthful love.
Remember those years
When you first learnt to love?
Remember those dreams
That you as an adolescent dreamt?

Love doesn’t always last
In its physical form forever
For the entire duration
Of your life;
But if two people
Ever love each other whole-heartedly,
The effects last
Long beyond the years of their
Youth, middle-age and old age.

Spark those embers,
Rekindle those buried dreams;
Learn to enjoy the fact
That life is beautiful after all.
And you know
What is most beautiful about life?
It is the feeling
Of being in love.

Beyond the Search

a poem by Abhimanyu Bishnu Dr.

Waking up in the morning,
in this urban jungle-
of nightmares, of chaotic lives,
of disappointment;
and, only so occasionally
of love and fulfillment.
Waking up
to an empty bed,
with no one to comfort the lonely night,
with the memory of last night’s dreams still fresh-
ah, if only dreams could come true!

The day goes on-
the empty rites of work
that must be done;
did someone ever ask you
if you would like to spend the day
beneath the blue sky, caressed by the win
with no worry save what to do if the rains came?
Did someone ever ask you
if you would like to spend the day
in the blissful arms of a loved one?
Loved one?
In this self-centred, self-focussed urban milieu
is it really possible to find someone
who will truly love you
and not your trappings
of money, power or fame?
Or use you as a means
simply to satisfy the ego?

Close your eyes, listen to the wind-
take a look at the flowers that blossom each day
right before your eyes.
Aren’t you glad that you are alive,
breathing, able to see
and able to hear
what loveliness you care to admit.
Beyond your search
for money and power,
for love that never comes,
far beyond all the inanities of life,
care to concede
to yourself
that it is a beautiful life after all.

The Birth

a poem by Abhimanyu Bishnu Dr.

The mother was in pain;
The unbearable yet exquisite agony
Of bringing a new soul into this world.
I stood by her side,
And saw the sweat breaking out on her forehead,
The agony with which she was thrashing from side to side,
Crying out,”Doctor, when will it all be over?”
I could only hold her hand, and say,
“Have patience, the time is near.”

She was taken to the labour table
In preparation for the ordeal ahead;
Anxious faces all around-
Scurrying to welcome the newborn into this world.
“Push, harder, push,” sister would say,
And with each wave of agony
The journey of a newborn was made.

The blood, the gore, the dreadful scene,
And in the middle of this all-
Out came the newborn
From the innocence of the warm womb
To the cold ruthlessness of this world.
It cried, it moved like a living doll;
And as I looked at it,
I felt I had created something
That money could not buy;
That all my education, my medical efforts
Perhaps pinnacled on this day
When I brought forth a living human being into this world.

It gurgled, it spluttered, it moved its arms-
The tiny bundle of joy
That had caused its mother so much pain.
Tiny pink hands and feet.
Skin that blanched when I touched it.
And the puckered face
Crying out in a constant wail
That asked for security, for love,
For respite from the harshness of life.

I took the tiny arms in mine,
And thought-
This wailing doll would grow up to be a man-
Would he be good, would he justify
All the pain that he had caused his mother?
Most certainly he would not know me-
The guiding hands that had brought him to this world.
Even so, I would not mind;
It was enough that I had brought one more soul
To this harsh, yet beautiful world of ours.

We tidied up the mother, and said,
“Smile, you have a beautiful baby boy.”
And, even in spite of all she had been through
I saw the look of contentment on her face.
Who was more contented-
She, or I?
I was happy that one more soul
Had come into this world
And that it were my hands
That had guided him here.

Scientists would call this, “Just another work of nature”,
Doctors would say, “Oh, it’s just one more baby.”
But I know that it was just not another baby-
For me, it was nothing but a miracle
Of life, in all its resplendent colours-
A miracle that had
Somehow made me more human.

-Dr. Abhimanyu Bishnu
After Labour Room posting