Atul Chandra Sarkar

Sparrows used to be
An indispensable part of us;
My childhood patiently watched them
Wrestle one upon the other,
Till they lost a couple of feathers
Unmindful of who topped the podium;
Then a couple of them
Would pick up the feathers
Of losers and the victor alike,
To make a cozy home:
Along with twigs, sprigs, cotton, trash
And human hair pulled and rolled
From unknown combs;
Then one day on finding
One of the couple go miss,
I would make a frantic search;
Look up at ledges, holes, sky-lets;
Until I could spot someone peeping at me
From a remote cornice;
My pleasure knew no bounds
At my successful policing;
Thereafter I would be alert
Whenever they’d scream at the sight
Of a stealthy mouse, cat or a monkey
And hush them away;
No sooner a day would come
When I could see open beaks squeal
For grub, more grub, more,,,,;
Arousing the urge in ravenous parents
For a relentless search to find something
Or the other to feed them:
Beak in beak, strengthening the weak;
Until they grew up,
Strong, Fluffy, Cute;
Where after would begin flying sessions:
From nest to ledge;
From ledge to a neighbour’s roof;
From neighbour’s roof to clothes-hanging-ropes;
From one electric wire to another;
From balcony to roof; from roof to sky;
From sky to freedom!
I too wished, I could fly;
But then, I would notice that of the two novices
Only one returned to the opposite balcony;
Where did the other go, where? Where?
No one had the answer
‘Coz hardly anyone had watched
The serial so attentively as I did;
Years after, I am again
On a look out for sparrows:
Where are they amidst concrete woods;
Where are they in receding rural greens;
Away from a, ‘no time to watch’ generation.
Nevertheless, I continued my search:
Until I spotted one recently
In the drawing room of a friend,
Who told me that his daughter had painted
A sparrow in oil;
I watched it gawk: a vision-less, mute look
Through a fancy glass-frame,
Without a flutter,
Without a mutter,
Without a chirp!
Without a……!


Atul Chandra Sarkar's picture

Double Post Graduate in Philosophy and Sociology and LLB degree-holder, a Gold Medalist from Canning College, University of Lucknow, U.P. India. Presently engaged as Advisor (Industrial Relations) and Public Information Officer (Corporate) at Uttar Pradesh Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd., Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India and is a Guest Faculty at Electricity Training Institute, Sarojini Nagar, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh on the Right to Information Act, 2005. An Advocate registered with the Bar Council. Articles, poems and short stories have been published in popular National dailies like Pioneer, Northern India Patrika, Times of India, Campus Verse, Shaktivani, etc. A Blogger at Times of India's speakingtree and having a flair for oil painting. A democratic, liberal and humanist to the core.

Last updated November 13, 2014