On this day

Last year this day, I wrote a haiku-esque poem in my brother’s memory. It was his 11th death anniversary. I am usually stoic, but last year this day, I was disconsolate. This was the poem.

“Come,” say wilting leaves.

Earth desiccant,  sky athirst.

“Wouldn’t you come, and rain?”

Here, ‘wilting leaves’ are me, ‘earth’ is my mother, and ‘sky’ my father.

This year, as I wait for my husband to come back from the now traditional gathering my parents have every year next to the tree they planted in their son’s memory, I am far from disconsolate. And I am not wilting. It’s good to be back to being ‘stoic’. But I am more than that, really. I am expectant. Are you listening, Shonu, my brother?

On this day, I wish to tell you about a song I really like a lot. A song I like so much that I sing it to my unborn child as a hopeful lullaby, hoping that when I have the child in my arms, and we’re both disconsolate with fussed moments and grumbly moods, the song reminds us both that there is much more than just life.

Here’s a feeble translation:

If your eyes

Have a dream to dream of,

You’ll be happy

Only when you’re a little unsatisfied.

Desire something

In your life.

And then see.


If your lips

Have a song to sing,

You’ll win

Even if you lose.

Hum that song

You have in your heart.

And then see.


If you have someone

In your memory,

Your evenings are like


Let there be someone

You give your heart to.

And then see.


Weave dreams.

Listen to songs.

Pick flowers.

And then see.

And here are the Hindi lyrics, should you feel desirous to sing along with Caralisa Monteiro

Aankhon mein jiski
Koi toh khwaab hai
Khush hai wohi jo
Thoda betaab hai
Zindagi mein koi
Arzoo kijiye
Phir Dekhiye

Honton pe jiske
Koi to geet hai
Woh haare bhi to
Uski hi jeet hai
Dil mein jo geet hai
Gungunaa li jiye
Phir Dekhiye

Yaadon mein jiski
Kisi ka naam hai
Sapno ke jaisi
Uski har shaam hai
Koi to ho jise
Apna dil dijiye
Phir Dekhiye


Khwaab buniye zara
Geet suniye zara
Phool chuniye zara
Phir Dekhiye


22 thoughts on “On this day”

  1. It must be getting close, dear Priya. You sound strong and confident. I am so happy for you to be keeping the circle of life circling, circling, circling. I want to say more…but I can’t find the words.

    1. It’s getting close, and how! Boy, am I scared and excited and impatient all at once!

      The circle of life circles without my contribution, Linda. The least I can do is not feel giddy for too long. 😉

      Thank you.

  2. BTW: the song is really lovely. I Googled Caralisa and found the lyrics, but no song downloads. Does she have a website or do you suppose a person could download that on iTunes?

    1. I must research more and tell you about this. I have an mp3 of this song on my hard disc. Would you like it if I emailed it to you?

    2. I respectfully disagree Priya, I think you are in the swirling vortex of the circle of life.

      I would love it if you could email me the MP3 file, if that is possible.

  3. So much hope and life is contained in that beautiful song! And in your heart as well, Priya. I’m glad that this day has found a softer place in your memories.

  4. “Are you listening, Shonu, my brother?” I don’t know why, but that line hit me hard. You have an amazing gift for looking ahead without forgetting the past or failing to see the beauty of the moment. What an emotionally rich life your child will have, because of who you are.

    I’m thinking of you, your parents, and Shonu today.

    1. Such a coincidence. While I was writing the line, it hit me hard, too. And for a moment I wondered whether I should at all write it. And wondered at its relevance. But then, I stopped wondering.

  5. And then see ..
    It is always there, isn’t it Priya? Still, we get caught up in so many tangled webs, we forget to look – and then see. I will carry this with me, and I hope to remember I have it – when I need to see. Thank you.

    1. 🙂 It is very easy to forget, yes. I’ve noticed that in me lately. I hope it is a temporary phase. And I also hope that your memory cells (if there’s such a thing) help you remember to see.

  6. So beautiful, thank you for sharing this lovely poem.

    I thought of you tonight, Priya. I took my daughter to a movie set in India, The Best Ever Marigold Hotel. It was about dreams and rebirth, and about loss too. I think you would like it.

  7. I’m sure that Shonu is listening – he is a part of you and he continues. An essence of him will be present in your child, too. Such love doesn’t die. Hugs.

  8. This post reminded when and why I fell in love with your way of writing… Hugs Priya 🙂 PS. Such love wouldn’t die!

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