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Mainstream, VOL LX No 12, New Delhi, March 12, 2022

When Thoughts Find no Words | Badri Raina

Friday 11 March 2022, by Badri Raina

Then there are times
When thoughts find no words.
Like misbegotten embryos, sans
Lips that form, eyes that see,
Fingers that point,
Their life tosses liquid in a miasma,
Unable to shape the days to come.

When that which is said is said often,
Remains in effect unsaid,
Like rain that falls incessant
Far away from sight or hearing.

When was the last you heard
What I said, insistent in my
Peroration?
Or if you did, it did not show
In how your pupils moved
Or your head nodded.
Nothing in the stance of your
Movement out of your chair
Suggested you heard what I said.

And that man there,
The everywhere man,
Set to remake the world after
His own visage, he hears
No words but his own.
How often I have spoken to him,
Words loaded with yield,
But fallen on a barren field.

What words are left us now
Are from hand to mouth, like
Picking up the cup and saucer
After the tea is done,
Renewable when somebody rings
The bell and you ask ‘who can it be?’

In the world out of place
With our words, we cannot
Decipher the smart logos
And the grunts of digital joy
That make up now for words.
Our words only capture
Our wordlessness, till some maverick
Who still reads a newspaper comes visiting
For an hour or two of mouthful of words—
Then for a brief parole, we fly like caged birds,
Only to sink back into the captivity
Of thoughts without words,
Smoothing out the corner
of the bedspread that gives
us respite from unsaid words.

(March 8, 2022)

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