Stone and Flesh

They were two:

Petrified, wide-eyed,

Staring straight ahead,

Neither laughing nor crying

At the daily round of worship;

Cymbals, bells, lamps, incense, recitations.

She said:  Beloved,

Isn't it boring to be fixed here forever,

Neither moving nor participating in the spectacle?

When the thought issued from her mind

He became conscious of himself,

Entrapped though in stone.

In a trice,

They escaped into the world,

And were lost in its hubbub.


She wept bitterly,

Large drops rolling down her cheeks.

Again, he struck her; she screamed:

Both abused each other,

Lamenting over their loss of happiness.

Surrounding them, like the walls of a prison,

Was the humdrum sordidness of poverty:

The state of perpetual want,

The feeling, which never quite left them,

Of dreams unfulfilled, wishes unsatisfied.

And the gradual degradation that circumstances bring.


Suddenly, he awoke, as if from a nightmare:

What are we doing here, my dear?

Shouldn't we be over there,

In the consoling darkness of the sanctum?

In a flash they disappeared,

Back to their original places

Wide-eyed and squat,

Staring ahead meaninglessly:

Two stone idols.

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  Copyright © 2005 - Makarand Paranjape