Myths of yesteryears, epics of tomorrow;
With the day intervening,
The bridge that sings
Of past – days, places and people:
Today. Big names, places; events interesting,
Go in the making of tales of joy,
Stories of sorrow
Or joys and sorrows intertwined
As strands, or mixed as the salts
In that unlabelled packet small
Of news paper: old and pale,
To be tested for identification.
So here’s a story of a hero unheroic.
No Ulysses or Achilles, this our hero is.
His story features no gods or Mephistopheles.
Not so long ago, in the holy Kasi,
There lived a certain dog-monkey
In a lane quite travelled:
Narrow, slippery, dark and filthy,
That opened on to Ganga.
One of many, like lane any.
At all time and all seasons
It was open to the general population
Of pilgrims floating, and cows,
Of dogs stray, and the bull,
And of course, a certain dog-monkey.
You must have heard of dogs, of monkeys
But myths set standards of gullibility:
The willing suspension of all suspicion
Is rewarded with the compensation
Of twists and turns of the plot,
Unimaginable. Of stories that seep in
And sub-plots innumerable.
So, this, our dog-monkey
Is just the right character
For his own story, of his days and nights.
Of his death and life.
Sad, quite tragic, in fact
Ironical, that dogs and monkeys
Can both die of rabies
And kill too.
But our dog-monkey is no mean species.
He sits on tree tops
And barks at the kitties
Who even try to scratch
The ground beneath his trees.
And they: flabbergasted
Their mouth wide open,
Open eyed devour this eighth wonder
This hero: dog-monkey,
A rare variety.
It’s doubly revered
For all its power