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Mainstream, VOL LX No 8, New Delhi, February 12, 2022

The Letting Go | Badri Raina

Saturday 12 February 2022, by Badri Raina

(February 10, 2022)

o o

Then there are times
when the will to abandon course
overwhelms
the thin stream of reason,
thwarted without let by ever new
sophistries of cul-de sac.
What energies the custodians
of unreason pack.

Yet, what is new about this lament?
I reach back
To that first dour of Urban Naxals
Of ancient Greece—
A mentor of the name of Socrates—
and, askance at the tenacity of argument,
lash body and mind
to further assays of rational intent.
I see that battered remains of ancient bone
Still ooze a cussed refusal of the killer stone
that vicious centuries of blood have thrown
to block the persistence of ask,
ripping mask after mask after mask
with the fine blade of disrobing skill
that often bests the bludgeon still.

But, turning inward, near death’s door,
The wonder remains about the after and before.
Are there only circles? Is there no line
that leads to some ultimate divine?
Must reason remain a faith without proof
Of a source, however aloof?
What unknown purpose do
The sun, the sea, the forest, the cloud
For the berserk heart and mind shroud?
Will, when everything dissolves, a voice
Be heard, unmitigated and loud?

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