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  Sumanta Sanyal
   
       

Monmotho.

His name was Monmotho.
He wore only a loincloth
out of which his gangly body
protruded
        up-and-downwards,
his spindly legs grasshopper-like.
As you neared him you could smell him,
for he never bathed.
Yet, grandpa would have
no-one else do the garden but him.

I liked him because grandpa did;
and because,
         though he seldom talked,
in a brusque and trite fashion,
he could explain simply how things were done
as he gruelled under the hot sun
or pouring rain weeding,
harrowing, digging and planting.

Where he lived we did not know;
for he appeared seemingly out of nowhere
when the garden needed to be done,
did his work, took his pay
and went away -
     where we did not know.

Then one day, long ago,
when I was still young
and grandpa still alive, he did not return.
No-one that we knew of could tell
anything of him
and he passed out of our lives forever.

This memorial to him
is in context of his gentleness
then at a time when my kites flew high
for now
     that it still soothes me
at a time when all my kites have been blown away
by a wayward wind that blows hard and inexorable.
 


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