Theme: Love

The Story of Ginger

by Kumud Biswas
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In our family
We were three
My parents and me
Till one day
He came suddenly
As if from nowhere
Nobody knew
Who his parents were
Nor where was his home
My parents were reluctant to accept him
Thought he was a nuisance
But as a companion
He was welcome to me
Chased by mother this compulsive thief
Would hide either under the cot
Or in the attic
He loved to play with me
Hide and seek
In summer
He cuddled in a cool corner
In winter he sought warmth
He stole into my mother's quilt
Gradually he supplanted me
From my mother's lap.

For his coat's color
I called him Ginger
Slowly he grew up
And by and by
Became a tiger in a miniature
Grew long whiskers
His growling became guttural
And his prowling more extensive
Beyond the confines of our modest home
He mewed around my mother the whole day
But at night began to go out
Now a shining youth
He seems to have felt
A strange stirring in his blood
He seems to have heard
The call of the wild
And sought adventures
Both amorous and territorial
Invaded others' territories
Fought pitched battles with his rivals
After each fight
Our hero needed medication and cleaning up from me
He had great aversion to being bathed
And he fought wildly with me
I still bear the marks of his desperate claws.

His absence on adventures
Grew in duration
First it was for a day or two
Till at last
He didn't return in a whole week
Father was asked to find him out
Yesterday I was told
My Ginger has been run over by a car
Now he is beyond all my medication and care.

Our neighbor has a brilliant son
He is a chemical engineer
Working in a private firm in Mumbai
On a fat salary
He was his parents' old age insurance
He was about to get married
When one day words came
He had lost one leg
In a road accident.

For God's sake don't say
I am equating my cat with that young man
For Ginger gave us nothing that money could buy.

30-Apr-2006

More By  :  Kumud Biswas

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