mahalaya...

still remember
quite precariously
the night before Mahalaya...
me sleeping by my dad
and a radio near our head
a small one...black...with knobs rounded...
at three thirty or four in the morn
can't exactly recall now...
would in half sleep know
Mahalaya has come...
the radio would come to life...
the sombre voice...
of Birendra kishore
on air...
Mahishashuramardini...
he would narrate the story
the lore...the tale
so mythical...
how the devi...
the powerincarnate
would dress up in armour...
in shields and spear...
she would dress up for the occasion to tear
the demonic serpent...
to kill him by her empowered gait...
she would,being blessed by gods  stand up like a spirit...
like a spectacle almost...
and then my mom would wake me up
from my half sleep...
she would me take
to the shiuli tree near the rear gate
of our humble house...
where white little blossoms were always found spread
like a white flowery carpet...
she would pluck flowers from the tree...
I would jump around laughing in glee...
the misty cool vapoury town
of ours perhaps then still asleep...
then in graded shades
the black sky would change...
from black to pink to reddened orange...
and the people...the townfolk...
would come out for run or walk...
some pious ones...with towels in hands
would go to the river
to take a holy dip...
there they would pay
obeisence...
to the immortal souls...
the departed ones...

I would go to the park
to play with friends of mine...
on the dewy cool grass
we would shout and run
having the simplest fun
of childhood life...
so removed from agonies and strife
till our bodies would be full of sweat
and glowing enough by the heat
generated by our plays and runs...


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