By Indunil Madhusankha

 

(Previously published in the 2016 October issue of the Synesthesia Literary Journal on 8th of July 2016)

 

“Amma, when I come the next time,  

 prepare me some Welithalapa.”

 Saying thus you left for work

 

 But all of a sudden like one of your

 most remarkable surprises

 You came home deposited in a reddish wooden box,

 meritoriously adorned with white coloured flowers

 

 I fanned your face with a handkerchief

 just to chase the flies away

 And caressed your forehead gently

 putting some tufts of hair to the top of the head

 You were our only son, the greatest treasure of ours

 

 As you were so catching and handsome a young man

 and an influential commander in the Army

 We had dreamt of a grand wedding ceremony for you

of sublime calibre

 with the accompaniment of music

 Yet I heard the smoothing rhythm

 of neither the violin nor the piano

 except the deafening cacophony of brownish iron horses

 that they called a respectable gun salute,

 and the lachrymose craws of the participants

 I can remember,

 unlike the others I didn’t weep or whimper

 except at the moment the telephone glided from my hand

 hearing the very news!

 

 I curse it,

 the horrible death messenger

  

 Huge banners of milky white colour

 fluttered in the air

 On them in plain black letters

 inscribed the cliché, “Anichchāwatha Sankhāra.”     

 

 Your coffin submerged slowly in to the grave

 I exclaimed

 clamouring and wriggling to loosen the clasp

 that mitigated against my movement,

 you could not be in that gloomy pit all alone

 Yet the gathering was deaf

 They say that now I am going mentally out  

 I am neither crazy nor violent

But definitely, so should be those war-mongers

 

 Oh, forgive me, my putha, my golden gem,

 for not having made Welithalapa for you.

 

Glossary

Amma – Mother   

Anichchāwatha Sankhāra A part of a Pali verse with the meaning, “everything is subject to   decay having been created from perishable bases.”    

Putha – Son      

Welithalapa – A Sri Lankan sweetmeat made of rice, sugar, and coconut

 

Indunil Madhusankha is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Decision Sciences at the Faculty of Business of the University of Moratuwa. Even though he is academically involved with the subjects of Mathematics and Statistics, he also pursues a successful career in the field of English language and literature as a budding young researcher, reviewer, poet and content writer. Basically, he explores the miscellaneous complications of the human existence through his poetry by focussing on the burning issues in the contemporary society. Moreover, Indunil’s works have been featured in many international anthologies, magazines and journals

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