“ Don’t make the sin of overstaying.”
The Hindu: 8 June 2004 -
44) The Missing Wife
Every young husband has felt deeply the absence of his wife when she is away, perhaps, to her mother’s place which she is always inclined to do, just for a change from the overwhelming presence of her husband or just to deliver her first child. He is restless and misses her much, but he puts up a brave face as if he isn’t too concerned about her absence. If he has a poetic inclination or talent to write one, he might scribble a few verses to sublime his thoughts but, in all probability, he might destroy his poetic effort before any one could lay his or her hands on his eulogy.
Here is an Egyptian young man long ago, 4500 years ago, who pined after his wife’s absence for a week. He wrote a poem expressing his sentiment and, fortunately, left it behind for our reading pleasure. He calls his wife “sister” if you don’t mind, but that was the Egyptian way of long ago.
Seven days to yesterday I have not seen my sister
And sickness has invaded me.
My body has become heavy, forgetful of my own self.
If the chief of the physicians come to me,
My heart is not content with their remedies;
My sickness will not be probed.
To say to me, “Here she is !” is what will revive me;
Her name is what will lift me up;
The going in and out of her messengers
Is what will revive my heart;
More beneficial to me is the sister than any remedy
She is more to me than the collected writings.
My health is her coming in from outside;
When I see her, then I am well.
If she opens her eyes, my body is young again;
If she speaks, then I am strong again;
When I embrace her, she drives evils away from me -
But she has gone forth from me for seven days!
He was a lousy poet, but he seems to have known how I would feel in the twentieth century A.D. when the wife is away - not the Egyptian wife! ( The poem quoted from “Ancient Egypt” by Lionel Casson; a TIME-LIFE book)
45) A Poem from A Boarding School
The students of the present generation are talented and are full of wit and humour. They laugh their way through life. Here is a poem written by the girls of the boarding house of a residential school in Ooty.
The idlis at my boarding school, The buses of my boarding school,
They say are mighty fine; They say are mighty fine;
One rolled off a table, You press the accelerator,
And killed a friend of mine. The wheels are left behind.
The noodles at my boarding school, The teachers at my boarding school,