The Wind Horse
All I remember of my grandfather’s death is a white staircase, ferrying steel gurneys with patients accompanied by their friends and families. I wasn’t allowed to the funeral.
‘He’s too young’ was the general consensus amongst the aunts and uncles whom I had never seen before.
After the funeral, I saw my dad clean shaven and tonsured for the first time. Clad in a white loincloth, his high forehead adorned with a saffron tilak, he would sit in the large mud courtyard of a nearby temple intoning shlokas. For thirteen days, he remained this distant figure tending a sacrificial fire, cooking his own meagre meal, sleeping on a straw mat on the cold December floor. I did not understand the rituals or the Sanskrit verses he recited, but the timbre of his voice was reassuring, as if everything would remain the same…
rites of passage –
leaf by auburn leaf
Paresh Tiwari is an often-published poet, writer and illustrator currently residing in Mumbai, India. He took to haiku and its associated forms in 2012 and is currently dabbling with longer forms of writing. His haiku, haibun, tanka, haiga and other poems appear frequently in noteworthy journals and anthologies across the world. An Inch of Sky, Paresh Tiwari’s collected haiku and haibun, has been published by 20 Notebooks Press. The book is now available online at http://goo.gl/MsSCaK