MY MOTHER’S HOUSE

MY MOTHER’S HOUSE


Ms. Puneeta has been a teacher, HOD and Principal in her 35 years as an educator. She has donned many hats and taken up manyresponsibilities including the role of a convener of CISCE schools in Jamshedpur and Inspector of Schools by CISCE. She has worked with several UK schools under the UKIERI & GSP Programs of British Council, partnered with a Chinese school for cultural exchange and has led a student delegation to UN to participate in a MUN session at New York.
She is passionate about education, is a dramatics and theatre enthusiast, enjoys reading, and likes to dabble in composing poetry.

Last night I visited my mother’s house again.
in spirit, alone…
Through the empty doorway
the deserted rooms
the backyard
now silenced and stilled…
 
Faces smile down
from dust laden pictures on the wall:
images caught by a camera,
images that outlive people.
 
An old chair-
my mother's favourite
stands by itself,
rocking at a touch,
in memory of old times?
How often she would sit there
at her favourite spot
knitting a yarn,
telling stories to her grandchildren!
White drapes cover the chair now...
 
Faint snatches of conversation,
laughter, gaiety
waft through the years gone by
as if it was just yesterday...
.
Spiders and termites soon began to thrive
where my family had once dwelt.
 
One by one they left
each on their path ways...
And she, struggling with odds, passed away one stricken morning.
 
The earth beneath her, bearing her hearse,
stood mute witness
to the rose petals that shrouded her,
to the abysses of sorrow
and mourning that followed,
and then... the silence.
 
Years of neglect:
cobwebs and termites,
crumbling walls...
 
And then, in an impersonal, practical world...
the inevitable sale of the house,
along with the vintage furniture...
 
In no time the house was razed to the ground
and in its place there appeared a posh bungalow.
 
Unfamiliar faces, strange people
overtook her domain
exercising authority over what was once hers-
bought over by a well negotiated bargain.
 
The sacredness
Blotted over by the force of currency...
 
Locked out of memory and forgotten,
the house now completely ceases to exist...
 
But... to my formless spirit
searching desperately the debris of the past ...
there emanates-
across the years-
the sweet whisper of my mother's call,
The air rings
with our nostalgia,
The earth still bears on her bosom
the imprint of her tread.