Buckle my shoe;
Open the door;
Lay them straight:
A big, fat hen
This used to be one of the first poems our parents taught us when we were kids. As we grew up we, especially today’s generation, got a new version of the same poem, the one with warnings.
Come Straight home mom had said but for the first time ever Baloo was crossing the abandoned haveli after the seventh hour of the day. Temptation held his hand, took him through cobwebs’ curtains into the stale beauty.“Baloo!” he heard someone, shouted to reply. All he heard was whisper of air. His voice - Gone.
‘I have to close the backdoor, remind me later bro’, Charlene said. Parents were out of town. Forgetful, both of them, watched TV and slept as night peaked until a devilish laugh was heard They rushed down to find their cat dead. Limbs and blood - a trail to the open backdoor, to a Bloodied joker-box.
‘I’m faster.’ ‘No I am’ the two joyful lads whistled as they rode their bikes against the air. Merriment played a truant and they didn’t see the round marbles spread ahead. One fell and the other tumbled over. Arms broken, forced to hear Humpty Dumpty recited by the girl they had crush on. Hearts crushed.
White walls of a strong fort. The guards in blue and red marching the length. Oblivious to the lurking darkness. The time has come. The devils crawl in and fight. The war is lost, fort has fallen, holes drilled and walls cracked. Kitty wakes up with a shriek. She forgot to brush her teeth tonight.
Swimming in the Pacific she saw the ring of fire. Asia is the largest continent, its spread she just admired. She saw the Ayers Rock with the Aborigines and played with Mayans in Peru. “Time’s up, stop writing”, she woke up with a startle. Written just one question, why didn’t I sleep at ten!
Thus we have the new poem
Come straight to home
Close the door
No bicycle race
Brush your teeth every night
Sleep at ten
Even after we leave our teenage behind the poem doesn’t abandon us, it haunts us with new lyrics and new sets of warnings.
“Darling what do you want me to get for you from the mall.”
“You driving now? Keep the phone and get some vegetables, we are running low on them.”
“Don’t worry; you do know I’m awesome, and best at talking and driving right?”
He didn’t get the vegetables, nor did he talk ever.
1, 2, 3 pegs down, Arvind drank because he needed courage to ask her out. He would do it today, now. He went over. Ly..le..lia..lim..Laika. Arjun held him before he fell. “Laika I will be dropping him home would you like to come too?” He slept while Arjun and Laika stared lovingly at each other.
Pyre purified his soul. But the fire wondered where had his lungs gone? It searched the whole body over and over again, while consuming the rest. But alas found only ashes of what it really desired, ashes it couldn’t burn again. It had consumed the lungs over a long period through its devilish weapon Cigarettes.
Watching Grey’s Anatomy, relishing the love confessions of two doctors. Driving to a beautiful Bed and Breakfast, one asking the other to marry her, purity of love! Both staring at each other, one with love, the other with wonder. Bam! They hit a truck. I make a mental note, while driving look straight. Lesson learnt.
'Spot fixing, Sreeshant caught, shame to the game'. News flooded the idiot box.Bookies played the dirty game. Denial and confession played along while more players of the dirty hole were caught. IPL ended Mumbai take the fame, tainted desire forced him into this hell. Wish I had understood life is not a game, Sreeshant sulked.
And so we have the poem for the youth.
No driving and cell phone
Don’t be the drinks troll
Quit usage of cigs
While driving look straight
Life is not a game.
Ignoring warnings never plays out well. Pay heed to what people say, cause like we all know prevention is better than cure and warnings lead to prevention, who knows we might end up somewhere with no cure!