An Epitaph for Appu by Kumud Biswas SignUp
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An Epitaph for Appu
by Kumud Biswas
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  Here lies one
Whom we killed first
And canonized after.

He took it upon himself
To accomplish the impossible task
Of righting all wrongs, avenging all evils,
Of reducing the distance
Between what is and what ought to be
And unable to adjust to its ways
In righteous indignation
Abjured the world itself.
He took his bearings in life
With a sextant set by a distant star
Always looming above narrow horizons,
But the submerged rocky outcrops of the shore
Kept him away from the harbor.
Steering clear of some inevitable collisions
Ultimately he foundered.

He was unlike us, the successful lot,
Successfully navigating following no rules
Excepting those for momentary survival
Diving or swimming along the prevailing tides
And sailing with the current winds
Swerving our course to our convenience
Without caring where we ultimately reached –
The hell or the port of call.
To have a captain like him is sheer madness
It’s much better to drift
Than to row against the tide
Revolting to the galley slaves.
We would rather join the pirates
To plunder the high seas
With a banner unfurled on our foremast
Carrying his clean image
To convince the credulous shippers
We are honest merchantmen.

We would kill him to canonize
Rather than have him amongst us.
May his soul rest in peace
Leaving us to peacefully plunder.
Hang him on your drawing room wall
As a good piece of decoration:
If his ghost frowns from there
Do not care
For we are many, he is alone.
Like one of those clumsy dinosaurs
He is destined to die
It’s we who shall prosper and multiply
And inherit this pigmy world.
To ensure he doesn’t resurrect
By the infallible rule of majority
We shall elbow him out.

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June 10, 2002
More By: Kumud Biswas
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