The mighty river

Bureaucrat ASHUTOSH AGNIHOTRI pens a poem to end the year

This is the same river which a little while ago was so loud and large

Its vast, limitless expanse threatened to engulf the earth,

washing away the hapless huts, dead bones, live hopes.

And sweeping in its incessant flow the mightiest tree,

scaring the strongest boat, the sturdiest oar, the ablest hands.

Now it flows so gently, so quietly, even without a whisper!

And the frailest of boats moves so surely and steadily.

Towards the shiny, silvery sands of the just born island.

This is the same tree which shook when the sudden storm arrived.

With the single purpose of ostensibly uprooting it —

Challenging its roots and fruits and leaves and branches.

The tree did shake, the fruits did fall, the leaves did rustle

But now it stands so upright,its branches swinging in delight.

This is the same sky which had appeared so sinister and diabolical.

The dense, dark clouds swallowing the coy moon and stars.

And thundered to leave the disquiet forever, the lightning.

Tearing asunder the sky and the petulant rain lashing its fury.

The same sky looks so placidly azure, embellished in gold,

With no traces of the wounded womb that sun emerged from.

This is the same bird which remained precariously perched the whole night.

When it lost its way and was caught in the storm.

When it remained hungry, thirsty and frozenly silent,

And now it sings full throated,

with wings spread out resuming its long journey to its chosen destination.

This is the – same butterfly, which sat on my palm with broken wings.

Looking so puny, so helpless, so certain never to fly again.

And now it playfully sits on the flowers, flirting with them.

And kissing their nectar as it moves from one to another.

This is the – same pair of eyes which had singed in smouldering silence.

When they burnt their dreams and chose to wash away the ashes.

With tears and blood emanating straight from the heart.

Now the same pair of eyes glows in smiling eloquence.

And looks determined to keep seeing dreams, never ceasing to chase them.

Time tests not just the patience and endurance of eyes and dreams.

But also that of an island, a boat, a bird, a tree,a butterfly.

The sky, the moon, the sun, the stars and the myriad expressions of life.

The one that passed the test yesterday, sees a brighter today and a better tomorrow.

Just as all of us would, in the coming year, which promises eternal hope and cheer.

Ashutosh Agnihotri

Ashutosh Agnihotri

An IAS officer of 1999 batch, Ashutosh Agnihotri hails from Kanpur. He has a masters degree in English Literature. He is interested in Literature, both English and Hindi, Cricket and astrology. He is presently the Commissioner and Secretary, Planning and Development, Science and Technology, Tourism, Government of Assam.