By Sudam Pal
It was a rainy day,
I had walked an uneven way,
And you were by my side.
There was just one umbrella for cover,
And yet we both were drenched all over.
You were a student in the second year M.Sc. class,
I was a driver in a government bus.
I had taken a day off from work,
You came, you said you’d bunked the lecture.
A rendezvous in Victoria,
And then a cup of tea in the cafeteria.
I gathered my world in your eyes,
And you were so full of my songs.
We had seen a dream together,
The dream of a lovely and happy future.
Our first love knew no bounds,
But false hopes we had found.
You were married off finally
Into a prosperous and wealthy family.
You moved away, you were gone,
I was left to live my life all alone.
Now I take solitary walks in the rain,
My grassy feet feel the Maidan grounds all over again,
I let my tears into the drizzle and melt my core,
So that nobody asks me if I am sore.
Sudam Pal was born in 1982 but suffered from spinal cord injury at the age of two as a result of a fall down a flight of stairs. A wheelchair user, Sudam studied at the Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy (IICP) and passed his secondary examination through the the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) and then completed his B. Com. from IGNOU. Later, he worked briefly in the corporate sector in Kolkata but had to leave because of non-inclusive policies and environments in the sector. Following this, he started his own business of handicrafts operating from his home and selling his products online and through friends. Sudam was an integral part of IICP, especially the advocacy group Ankur. Sudam loved singing and his melodious voice used to soar up to the sky. Sudam was in love with life; he seldom thought of his own problems. His heart reached out to all and he dreamt of how he could help others. He loved chatting with friends, wrote poetry and was a very jolly person. Sudam passed away on 25 December, 2014 after a brief illness. The poem was translated from Bangla by Pragna Paramita Mondal.
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