This, indeed, is the path to walk on.
So many have passed by me on this path, some joining my company, others seen from afar; some with a veil over their heads, others without any; some walking to fetch water, others returning with water.
The day has retreated and darkness descends.
Once this path had seemed personal, intimately mine; now I see I carried a summon to walk on it only once, no more.
Past the lime trees, the pond, the riverbank, the cowsheds, the paddy mounds, the familiar glances, the known words, the acquainted circles, there won’t be any returning to say “Hey, there!”
This is the path to walk on, not one to return from.
This hazy evening, I turned back once and found the path to be an ode to many a forgotten footstep, all entwined in the notes of Bhairavi.
This path has summarized the stories of all its travelers in a single dirt trail; the one track that traverses between sunrise and sunset, from one golden gate to another.
“Dear walking path, don’t keep all the stories you have accumulated through the ages tied quietly into your dust strand. I am pressing my ears against your dust, whisper them to me.”
The path remains silent, pointing its index finger toward the dark curtain of night.
“Dear walking path, where have the worries and desires of all the travelers gone?”
The mute path doesn’t talk. It just lays down signals between sunrise and sunset.
“Dear walking path, the feet that embraced your bosom like a shower of wildflowers, are they nowhere today?”
Does the path know its end—where forgotten flowers and silent songs reach, where starlight illumines a Diwali of resplendent pain.
Translated by: Bhaswati Ghosh