Theme: India

Testament

by A. J. Rao
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I, the undersigned,
Of four score years and two
Bequeath to my sons, equally,
My dream-project
Born out of my life's labors
I, a scarecrow of my former self,
An absurd little sleep-walker
Now sleeping, now waking
Sweeping the dusty corners of
My senile mind, in its
Intermittent moments of lucidity,
Pass on this inheritance, gladly
And without duress.

Decrepit and withered
I stand near the Dark Tunnel
A pretty little low-cost house
Still remains in the back-yard
Of my cluttered mind
So pretty and such fine roof-tiles
The drawings are still fresh
The problem of rural housing
Is solved at one stroke.

Memories of eighty long years
Blend imperceptibly
With fears of the unknown
As I rake in the autumn-leaves
Of unrealized dreams of
An engineer-dreamer
My brain goes dead
My body degenerates
But I still retain my sanity
Enough to recognize
The contours of my dream-house

It will be such a fine project
My sons, this model
Will revolutionize
Low-cost housing
Please take my word for it
One day this will change
The face of rural India.

02-Dec-2001

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