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The Story of a Poet

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The Story of a Poet
Kamala Sarup

I was watching, speechless, as the cold wind blowing through the window began to scatter the pages I had written.  Hurriedly, I tried to collect them.

The street can be seen clearly through my window. People are seen walking incessantly, suppressed by their own busy needs. It is all here - want, poverty, joy and richness - a gradual journey. I gather together the pages and again, try to resume writing the story of a poet. 

In truth, he has not, even now, written anything other than the background of his beloved, attempting to better understand the meaning of love. He is living a meaningless life.  And he is running away in an unsuccessful attempt at seeing his beloved; the very one who has run away from him by cheating on him.

He knows, as with the crowds, slowly a dark cloud is forming over and within him.  The poet had never imagined that his beloved would run away like that. He whispered with every evening and jotted down poems. That is, he wrote of agonies. He stared at the moon and in his poems wrote love letters about his life. He rambled on from morning to evening and jotted down poems in the fits of alcoholic drinks, as now, he seemed to prefer death.

In the meantime, my sister entered the room. She had make up painted all over her face and she appeared like an actress in a movie wearing a sari of the latest fashion.  She came closer to me and said in as endearing tone, "Let's go for a walk today."

I was completely drowned in imagination which was spilling over me, "I  cannot spare my time to go out today. Look! Please let me complete my story. In front of me is a horrible story of the poet, his terrified voice and an incessant noise."

She was angry and went to the window," You are always engrossed in stories! Why should you write so much? Is there nothing more important than wants, struggles and thought?"

I slowly looked at her and smiled, " You like to enjoy.  But, life is not as easy as you think. Won't you give me a moment just to live?" She began to speak more loudly, " Neither do you live easily nor you let others live easily.   Tell me, should I pass my whole life in this way?"

I am startled. Oh! Why did I talk to her? What for? Does it mean that she is dissatisfied with living: " You haven't understood the meaning of life at all. The meaning of life is not to keep your life imprisoned inside your home, nor is it to keep your life tied up in shackles. Well, why can’t you offer your sister happiness? Your stories and poems do not give me satisfaction." 

I went on listening to what she said about me. Oh! How is it that I find some kind of similarity between me and the character I have created in my story? Does it not show that in the process of the journey, she is going to get separated from me? If I am to tell the truth - I feel quite sad. 

Actually, we love each other.  In all honesty, to love her and yet not be able to share her happiness are contradictions, opposite feelings, and maybe it's due to these oppositions that she might have been angry with me in this way.

She was shouting now," You just go on writing stories all your life, just continue with your poems and nothing else. As for me, enough of it! I can no longer live with you with all these wants and all this conflict everyday. To be frank, I feel insecure all the time when I am with you. Why? I don't know it myself," she said.

She went to the other side of the room, still speaking.  Outside, the evening was engulfed in darkness.  People appeared on the street, sparingly now. My eyes were filled with tears exactly like those of the poet, the main character in the story.

I stopped. Just one thing she said continued to haunt me. " Now I can no longer live with you. I am leaving you, even though you are my sister!"

 Journalist and Story Writer Kamala Sarup is specialising in in-depth reporting and writing on Peace, Anti War, Women, Terrorism, Democracy,and Development. Some of her publicationsare:Empowerment in South Asia, Nepal. Prevention of trafficking in women through media,(Book) Efforts to Prevent Trafficking in for Media Activism(Media research). Two Stories collections. Her interests include international conflict resolution,cultural communication,philosophy, feminism, political, socio-economic and literature.Her current plans are to move on to humanitarian work in conflict areas in the near future. She also is experienced in community development.

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Journalist, poet and editor Kamala Sarup works at the Cape Collection. Kamala specializes in reporting news and writing stories covering journalism, Peace, Public health, Democracy, Women/Children, development, justice and economic development. (more...)

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