By Santosh Bakaya
“Bring my Gavaskar back!”
Wailed the devastated mother of the budding cricketer
Nayeem Qadir Bhat, a top order batsman
His parents’ darling.
The larks singing overhead
Lost their musical words
The seven sisters cowered in a corner
As Nayeem’s three sisters sang lullabies.
“Who will I share my secrets with now?”
Lamented his sister dear.
Bidding goodbye to their promising brother
No words could sooth the mother.
Who, with closed eyes, still continued lavishing kisses
On her cricketer son.
His pictures holding cricketing awards from the walls beam
Bidding a final goodbye to siblings’ quarrels.
Ah, he is resting on his laurels.
In his eternal sleep.
Does he still dream of hitting a century
For the Indian cricket team?
“He was the finest boy of our clan.”
Bewailed his uncle, this sudden going of a son, not yet a man.
They say, a probe has been ordered, the guilty will be punished
Will that diminish the anguish of a mother who lost her son
As one more gory victory the forces won?
The dishevelled scarecrow
Wiped a tear
And went back to the business of scaring off the tiny birds
Romping and cavorting in the saffron fields
A perplexed tendril racing towards the sunlight
Wondered where the sun had gone.
[Dedicated to Nayeem Qadir Bhat, the promising young cricketer who lost his life in forces firing in Handwara, Kashmir on 12 April 2016].
A novelist-poet, Dr Santosh Bakaya stays in Jaipur with her husband, Lalit Magazine and college going daughter. She is from Kashmir. She recently won the Reuel International award for her long poem “OH HARK!” which is now part of “THE SIGNIFICANT ANTHOLOGY”.
Her e-book: FLIGHTS FROM MY TERRACE in Smashwords has been criticallly acclaimed and recently Vitasta Publishers released her new ‘poetic biography’ of M K Ghandhi: “BALLAD OF BAPU”.