Saturday, March 22, 2014

Of opened chests and unseen emails...

There was a time not-so-long ago
when an old man would die
loved ones would cry
neighbours would sigh
and time would pass by...
And after days or weeks
as thought appropriate
the house would have a visitor -
a lawyer, friend or associate
who would sit surrounded
by wide open eyes and hopeful hearts
wondering how the dead man's possessions
would be divided into parts.
And when all of it was said and done,
stuff would be moved, stuff would be sold
Some curious soul would find and open
a locked wooden chest covered in mould.
Lo and behold, diaries & letters,
moth-eaten photos with unknown faces,
cards sent on christmas and birthdays
and postcards from faraway places.
The family would sit together
excited, curious or even aghast
letters read, diaries violated,
all's fair in piecing together a dead man's past.
Summertime flings. War-time lovers
Philosophizing pals and holidaying friends
Reflections on life, Confessions in ink
Breaking Ties and Making amends.
And there in full glory,
through faded photos and musty paper
bits and pieces of many a caper
the dead man would come alive
as a devil-may-care fifteen year old
Or a strapping young lad at twenty-five.

And now I wonder
when I die
as a grumpy old lady at ninety
or a little younger at seventy-five,
People will cry
People will sigh
Time will pass by
Months will fly.
No lawyer will visit
With a letter in hand
No chests will be opened
No diaries will be scanned.
A couple of hard disks will be found
and even some DVDs lying around
But wading through TBs of photos and videos
would seem a choice unsound.
Maybe a Find would be done
on exciting, curious strings
'biggest mistake of my life'
'crazy night' or 'college flings'.
And when it would yield no results
memories would be overwritten
or renegaded to the back of a drawer
to be unreadably time-bitten.
Maybe a curious soul will search on my name
and find bytes of me shared over time
photos, reviews, statuses and thoughts
or blog poems that badly rhyme.
But undiscovered will they lie -
the drafts in my blog
the emails in my Inbox
the notes to self and recipes
stowed away in Google Docs.
None will find the emails
A friend and I wrote to each other
seeking meaning from the world
and solace from one another
Unseen will lie my chats and emails
about the beautiful places I travelled to
So when I am dead and gone
My experiences will be gone too.
None will see the story I wrote
about the child and his paper boat
or the one about the funny ghost
For I felt they were too naive to post
And there they will lie till eternity
or till the digital world would last
Unseen, unfound, all alone
the little 1s and 0s of a dead woman's past.


Shivani Gakhar said...

wow it was really beautiful!

Neelam Prabhugaonker Shetye said...

Thanks Shiv :)

Ramya gl said...

Verrrry nice... made me nod n smile at the end of a very tiring day and the beginning of yet another sleepless night...

Neelam Prabhugaonker Shetye said...

glad it did so, Ramya :)

bhin desi megh said...

beautiful Neelam!

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