I started talking quite early (and haven’t stopped since… ) – One of the most discussed stories of my childhood at family meetings is my love for a particular Bengali couplet my uncle had taught me. The bards they say still sing about a little girl in the Jammu neighbourhood who made a particular Bengali couplet be taken by heart even by the crows around! It went as follows :

“Jibon ta ki bol???
Poddo pataaye jol, Kore Tol Mol

To put it across in a global language it would read

“So tell me what is life?
It is nothing but a wobbly droplet of water on the lotus leaves.”

For the last few days every time I sit with the newspaper and my morning cuppa, somewhere my mind repeats this couplet vehemently. To all those soldiers who lay slain each day – who take a step out of the bed without wondering if it was the wrong side – who before running on do not spare a thought about the triggers that lie under…. To all of you I am sorry that your life is like a droplet of water on a lotus leaf.

While just like the lotus leaf you are expected to repel dirt (read whatever you like) and have no aspiration to cling on to life – and then when you lie there still all covered in blood and mud your life is deliberated over just like the above couplet … a few gun shots a few cheques sent home and then you slip away from the memory leaving no trace behind…

Does the lotus leaf also not miss the water drop it nurtured and held for a while? Does it not retain the distinct smell? Or is it also all till the water is there… then it’s just moving on….Just as all the salutes go in till you are there braving on with your gun.. after that it’s all back to the ashes you have risen from…

P.S: The photo taken is sadly not by me and can be accessed at – http://www.teasnursery.com/PhotoContest/LotusLeafandPetals_JerryPan.jpg (apologies to Sir Jerry pan for not taking prior permission)