by Rabindranath Tagore
At dawn shey(1) departed
My mind tried to console me -
" Everything is Maya(2)".
Angrily I replied:
"Here's this sewing box on the table,
that flower-pot on the terrace,
this monogrammed hand-fan on the bed---
all these are real."
My mind said: "Yet, think again."
I rejoined: " You better stop.
Look at this storybook,
the hairpin halfway amongst its leaves,
signaling the rest is unread;
if all these things are "Maya",
then why should "shey" be more unreal?"
My mind becomes silent.
A friend arrived and says:
"That which is good is real
it is never non-existent;
entire world preserves and cherishes it its chest
like a precious jewel in a necklace."
I replied in anger: "How do you know?
Is a body not good? Where did that body go?"
Like a small boy in a rage hitting his mother,
I began to strike at everything in this world
that gave me shelter.
And I screamed:" The world is treacherous."
Suddenly, I was startled.
It seemed like someone admonished me :" You- ungrateful ! "
I looked at the crescent moon
hidden behind the tamarisk tree outside my window.
As if the dear departed one is smiling
and playing hide-and-seek with me.
From the depth of darkness punctuated by scattered stars
came a rebuke: "when I let you grasp me you call it an deception,
and yet when I remain concealed,
why do you hold on to your faith in me with such conviction?"
Last updated January 14, 2019