Are you listening, son?

Kharagpur, India
February 2, 2014 10:14am CST
I saw the man, walk slowly; Hair unbrushed, clothes unkempt; With the aura trying helplessly Echo back to him those inaudible cries; With the cold breeze hitting against his face, Whispering in his deaf ears A silent plea to stop walking; But he kept on; Amidst the mist he found His way; like every day. In him I saw shades of sadness; In him I saw a colour of madness; And then in him I saw A father, broken to his last bit. The man walked down the pebbled path, And slowly crouched before his small world. I saw in him a father, who was smiling Over his son's grave. And then I heard him say: "The day isn't bright and sunny anymore, son. It all seems to be just ‘yesterday’; Your mother doesn't realise, I guess. She is a mother after all. And I am a father. It's this small difference that builds My strength; Strength to face you here. . . When I say you died a martyr's death, She says it's not the honour But just the loss that a mother sees; And I am left with no word To paraphrase the truth a little less bitterly. Son, I hope, there is peace in the realms Of Heaven; though not a trace, in your abode. Life is set adrift, now. We now move where the winds take us. You were the best soldier, the bravest. You earned us honour; but the cost is heavy. Son, I hope you are listening. Your mother has shrunken her world Even smaller; with your belongings And your medals, as the limits. Tell me son, water from which fountain Can nurture dead hopes to life again?" I saw the man, wipe a tear I heard the emptiness smile, softly; And lifting his wrinkled hand From the cracked brickwork, he said: "To the world you are just a name Among a hundred more in the Regiment List But to a father; to me, You are just my son."
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