inner voice


Whenever there is a cricket match –
India playing another country –
I wake up with great anticipation
and offer a prayer to the Almighty:
May India play well;
may the better team earn victory.
I wonder how I find time plenty
to watch the test match
all the five days through
when I always seem to run out of it
for so many more important tasks.
I stay glued to the TV
and watch every ball bowled
forgetting my food and drink
unless it is served to me.
I dislike intrusions of all kinds,
and, when the phone rings,
I loathe answering the call.
I avidly lap up the commentary,
every comment after every ball,
and curse the commercial breaks
that appear between the overs
and after the sixes and fours.
My heart races with joy
when our batsmen hit the ball;
it misses a beat or stops a while
when our wickets begin to fall.
But when it happens with our rivals,
my heart responds differently.
And if you remind me
about my morning prayer,
you will find me
fumbling for an answer.
When our players score high
or take a big haul of wickets,
or run like cheetahs in the field,
they evoke my adulation
reserved only for a deity,
but, when they bat poorly
and fail or fumble with the ball
they look so vulnerable,
and so fragile,
like gods of clay.
When the rivals lose
I feel sorry for them,
but when we face defeat
it makes me sad,
and I mourn
as if there never is another day,
even as I know
that cricket is a chameleon
that changes its colours;
that, like a faithless lover,
it wavers with its favours.
Dr K L Chowdhury


Nocturnal music

Strolling, treading and wandering
Busiest roads and crowded
streets transcending
Room on the rooftop I reached
At dusk; the rusty iron door screeched.
Walked in holding” The Rozabal
Line” in hand
Behind me, the only door banged
Squatting near the open window
t’was oak paneled
Where the arms of majestic
banyan tree dangled
A gentle breeze blew that night
Moving leaves and branches
with all its might
That starry night much to my delight
Heard a divine and unrefined music
Of varied and subtle nuances.
“Psithurism”: sound ofwind;it’s waves
Blew amongst the tree,
rustling of the leaves
Swishing and swooshing;whizzing
and whishing
In the dead of the night, I sat undaunted
Listening the chirping of crickets,
the squeaks and squawks of bats
The hooting of owls, the scratching
and gnawing of rats
Croaking of toads, the chorus
howling of distant pack of wolves and
landowner’s meowing cat
Hush-hush; gave away all the secrets to me
Those nocturnal creatures of that old tree
Snoozed…..woke up with a start
Cherishing this nature’s treasure and art
Deepening our mutual chords and strings
As if I drank nectar and played on swings
Touched by tinge of divine love
Steady swishing of wind;
indeed this treasure trove
Gave me peace and serenity
That show I embraced calmness
and tranquillity!!!!
Aditi Choudhary
Bohri Jammu