Hungry and thirsty
Wandering in “the dreary desert sand of dead habit”
He finally came across a pool
Different from most Indian pools
It had lucid water
He could clearly see the base
It was unlike other bottomless pits.

The man was fascinated
He longed to drink of it
Have a dip in it
And come out clean and quenched
All sins forgiven and forgotten
Darkness of past merging with future’s shine
Despite living in the filth and mire of present.

He removed his clothes
Including the last shred of false decency
And stood naked but proud
That finally he could swim in purity and openness
A great weight was about to be lifted
As soon as he’d take the plunge
Into the pond of purgation.

“Stop”, he heard a commanding voice
Though he couldn’t see anyone
He looked all around him for the speaker
But, he couldn’t find anyone
Defeated he was about to give up
But then he noticed in a tree near the pond
A parakeet

“Who are you?” he asked
“You are an Indian, you won’t know me”
Replied the parakeet sadly, “I am named ‘Charitra‘”
“Strange name” said the man, “Never heard of you”
“Yes, nowadays I am rare” said the parakeet,
“But, I nested all over India before I became extinct”
“I am the last of my species.”

The man was happy he saw something rare.
“Why did you stop me from jumping in the pool?
“This is a pool of honesty” said the bird
“People come out changed and pure;
But become misfits to survive”
“I don’t want you to die;
You may jump if you want to, though”

‘Washing away sins is one thing’ thought the man
‘But, dying in the process is undesirable’
Suddenly, a thought occured to him
And he spoke it out loud:
“What can I do to survive a dip in the Honest Pool?”
“Simple” replied Charitra, “Don’t let me become extinct,
Return me to live with people.”

“What do I have to do for that?”
Asked the man confused
“Simple” said Charitra, “Go to people and ask them to own me,
To have me back.”
“It will take ages” bemoaned the man,
“I will be dead before they accept you back.”
“Try” said the parakeet, “I will give you wings to fly.”

The man flew with Charitra
And went to all classes and conditions of people
Netas, babus, doctors, engineers
Religious leaders, sports people, industrialists
Even media people and
Sadly no one wanted Charitra back
Having bartered it for money and fame.

“What can Charitra do for us” many asked,
“Why should we want it back?”
To this the man gave his recently learnt reply:
“It can make you have a dip in Honest Pool,
“And make you survive the plunge.”
“Not good enough” they all crowed,
“We have the best dips that money can buy.”

He kept flying with Charitra on his side
Only to become disillusioned, defeated, frustrated
‘Not one person in my country’ he thought
‘Has any use for this dying parakeet’
He wanted to have a dive in the pool
But, alone, he didn’t want to die
What could he do, he was alone and weak

Suddenly, his powers to fly were gone
And he was grounded again
And the parakeet flew towards a sunset
And total darkness engulfed the nation
With people groping helplessly
Looking eastwards wistfully
For a golden sunrise
Bringing back Charitra, the elusive parakeet.

© 2012 – 2013, Sunbyanyname. All rights reserved.

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  1. Excellent poem beautifully related to the story that has an important message. A new ‘genre’ in literature : Poem and then related story ?