The Creative Section (Vol. 5, No. 1) is on its way and will be published by the end of May, 2024.

Remembering Father - Tapan Kumar Pradhan (India)




-         Tapan Kumar Pradhan (India)



The day father became a postage stamp, mother wept

each time they hammered the heavy round metal seal


father’s round glasses shattered; without them he was blind

She wept, for she never knew father would become so great


after death. Had she known, she would never have fought

with him, each night, for his queer antics. For one, he slept


with young girls half his daughter’s age, to prove a point

Not only that, he kept a nanny goat a this rear balcony


With all that ba-ba early mornings – neighbours fumed

But goat milk was good for health he said, kept one away


From sick impure thoughts. He also had a couple of cows

With the fresh dung women of the household were taught


to polish front courtyard. Purified the air he said, it kept

gnats at bay. Cowwas also abode of Laxmi, the Goddess


of Wealth. Though father never made much wealth in life

he made many friends, some even got cured of ailments


by drinking urine. No one ever touched meat or wine

in father’s village. If anyone took, he was sure to hear


at midnight, the dead goat inside his stomach wailing

in a woman’s voice. Oh it was so scary - when he died


father became a stone -and a cobbled road. A sparrow

built a nest on father’s round head, before he became


a crumpled currency note. Each time you stapled a pin

it entered his left eye, and came out piercing through


his tooth less mouth - “Aww….what a torture !” they cried

and banned the stapling of notes. But it was the best thing


that happened to father’s memory. Now they keep him

in their shirt pockets, warm, folded close to their hearts


where faith and hope coexist – faith which can move

a slumberous mountain -and hope which can unfurl


a forgetful nation’s twisted destiny.