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Akella S. Ratnam

The Loss

The Loss

Heinous crime it was
My grandfather said; though
The loss was marginal for the owner.
A sunny morning. My father who
Rides roughshod to his office and
In the office over his subordinates.
Noticed the theft and turned red:
Mouthed curses which, were he a saint,
Would have burnt wherever
The thief was to ashes.
It was the brass nameplate
My father brought from Aligarh.
Now, fifty summers later another loss.
Neither my father who in his old age
Ruminates over his youthful days
Like a priest who savours the memory
Of the sumptuous food offered at the feast
Nor anyone else in the house grieves.

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