Tagore’s The Post Office and the living

I lay on the bed
for the better part of the day 
looking listlessly  out of the window
the wire mesh blocking the view
partitioning the sky into small squares.
Sleep eluded me
pain overpowered me
I longed to die.
I felt my heart thudding
hanging on to dear life.
Death laughing sardonically
watching with cold glee
whispering in a thin voice

your time is yet to come.

Reading Tagore’s The Post Office brought this on. A short play but one that will remain with you and full of optimism in spite of the way it ends. Amal is a terminally ill boy who stays indoors on his doctor’s orders. He longs to go out and play but has to remain cooped up in his room. Like most children, he finds a way out of this predicament. A window in his room becomes his window to the  world outside.

He talks to the people who pass by the road next to his house and asks them questions about their lives. He participates and engages with life in any way he can. His innocent questions makes these people see their lives in a new light, making them feel good about their existence. He regales himself this way, finding new things to do everyday, dreaming about the future, bidding his time and waiting to do those things once he gets well. The light is leaving him but the light emanating from his being brightens everything he touches.

Read it or better yet see the play.

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