( subsequent to my cateract surgery)

Only one eye is bandaged
The other eye undamaged
But, struggled to walk a few yards
Surgery to the next ward.

I hold the nurse’s hand not tight
She is far beyond twice eight
Kind she is, holds my hand tight
I shouldn’t crush under her weight!

Called my mom and she comes
To the corridor of memory
I hold her hand tight, then on
Feel fit to run a marathon

‘How did you manage such a big family?’
I ask her, she looks at me calmly.
‘With one eye vandalized by small pox
The other eye choked by firewood smoke.

‘Kids, cattle, guests, servants
Dad busy at his work
No machines to pound or grind
No provision for weekly off

Constipation for one child,
Loose motion for the other
Both dance at the toilet gates
Guests inside sing cine notes

One child, inserts a slate pencil
Into his nostril and whistles
Another inserts a lead pencil
Into his ear hole and wails
The third one vanishes with a guest’s bike
The fourth, vandalizes grand ma’s Prayer book.
A little doll rolls into muddy pool
Washed vessels and she is cool!
Coriander seeds with mustard
Mixes another ustad .

I never asked you this question, ma,
How you managed with a single eye?
With two bright eyes, for six decades
I overlooked your eye decay.
Who had impaired vision
Me or you?’

The kind nurse walks in
To see with whom I was talking
Sees no one, brings another nurse
Both bolt to congratulate the doctor
‘Surgery super- duper successful
The patient can see
Whom we can’t ‘

‘Rubbish’, retorted the doctor first,
Thought for a moment and said,
‘Publish in the papers,
Patient, no discharge
Keep him in a special ward
And post a security guard’