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Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Night of the Hall-Ticket by Aparajita

The Night of the Hall-Ticket by Aparajita

I remember the night
Before her final exam
It was a casual check
I asked her about the hall ticket
Of her tenth final the next morning
She said that she kept it safely
In one of her books.
I looked at her brother, his eyes
Conveyed the message: “the night out”
For both of us, as she has to
Prepare for her final with care
We asked her to recollect when
She kept and where she placed
She said firmly, “In one of the books.”
We fixed the time at nine
As we finished our dinner
We dashed into the anxious search
As her books spread all over the place
“Can we find it tonight?" Asked my son.
“Have patience,” I said to him.
“She isn’t going to write the exam,
“Think about an alternative,” said her father
Before jarring himself into deep slumber.
She was giving a final reading
As her brother and I continued the search.
All the books in and out of the shelf,
“Let’s keep aside the checked ones”
Said he, looking at the clock.
“Don’t look at the clock, we need the
“Hall ticket by all means,” were
My words to him. We checked
Patiently in each and every text and notes,
And record and pad turning leaves one by one.
“Its half past two; shall we sleep?”
Asked my son but we couldn’t track.
“Please do some miracle, else I have to
“Run to the school for a photocopy”
I prayed to God, tossing in the bed
Hoping to sleep.
“Mummy, it’s in the front room,”
I heard her voice and rushed to her in my semi-sleep,
“What dear? Your hall-ticket?”
“Where is it?” I just rained a set of questions.
“It’s in the front room, beneath the table-cloth
“Where you keep flower-vase,
“On the show-case.” She mumbled
In her sleep and went into silence.
I rushed to the front-hall
And searched the place, it’s intact
Exactly in the place where she mentioned
In her half-sleep,
My son came from the other room
Rubbing his eyes; “We got it,
“She told me exactly where it is.”
“How can you tell me ‘the exact place’
“Where you placed it, ‘in your sleep?’”
I asked her with a grin and gleam
She said, “It’s all in my dream
“I came to know about the place
“Where I kept it so carefully.”
My son looked at me and said
“We missed our night’s sleep.”
I said, “Thank god, she slept
“At least for some time.”

Author's Bio: Aparajita is the pen name of Kameshwari Ayyagari, who is a lecturer in the department of Humanities and Sciences at Malla Reddy Institute of Technology & Science (M.R.I.T.S), Maisammaguda, Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh.

Her poetry reminds us of the imagination of Nissim Ezekiel. Her picture on how one can remember ones belonging even in the dream if it is an obsession really comes into the open well.

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