The Wrong Doers – by Vivek Bhasin

What did I do wrong…
did I break bounds and wreck the fence
and let the lambs out?
So hungry wolves might ..encircling pounce?

What did you do wrong…
did you jump the light on amber
turning red
wishing to get home
to tuck your child to bed?

What did they do wrong…
with a terrible rusty steel prong
rape the land and kill the soil
so only they would split the spoils ?

What did we do wrong…
did we run amuck and kill every sun rise
to thick brown black and heavy skies
nor bother with rain nor wind nor snow
so parched the land
as the basil bush dies ?

every step I take in the dark forests, chasing green moss and fallen pines, I tread carefully amongst the bramble and fallen logs negotiate bends and hoops and ups and downs. The wind whistles through the trees and I look up to the heavens and see the tree tops swaying to Bob Marley…they merge-diverge and blue flashes and white clouds go sailing by..
But I need to look down soon again before a swollen root trips me and I will fall with all my weight on my face to feel and smell the cold moss…yet again.

I will struggle to lift my weight as my knees badly bruised weep and bleed. I know I have to reach the end if not the green will turn black and I might fall asleep again… who knows when will I awake again…on a full moon and a field of stars.

In today’s congregation we sing from every window and try to get the rhythm afloat to blend ..the philharmonic orchestra players now sit apart, Zubin Mehta too many miles away; the opera singer in Verona lives alone and his music all forlorn drifts from Zanzibar..

.. the world is solitary now
what solace can we find
behind close curtains
except the birds song
sings free…

Yet there are others who gasp and gasp..
Yet the air turns pure and free
no smoke stacks belch..
no steam a hiss nor burnt tyres kick up storms of dust
to enter your lungs
as you are home
behind those closed curtains
and the teak lined steel door.

Perhaps the smog filled pollution was better ?
the fire crackers lit by ignorants
who in any case gave a rat’s arse for the world..
If they lived in Manila and did not listen.. they would not be preached in soft sermon tones
to please please do not…
Nor would they be scolded to write five thousand times I will never-ever five thousand times..
No no… politely only politely will the henchmen arrive
politely escorting those ignorants to yonder paddy fields
and politely but gently ..
“Blow their f-ing brains away..”

.. that goes too with those who smash beer bottles and absolut on sweet streets shards of shiny shit sharp glass; add to those delinquent so called rebels without a cause graffiti-goons who spray toxic colours to uglify every space; creeping under cover of darkness and dodging cameras perform cliff hanging feats to do their pathetic paint work to get some kudos by the nut-clown gangs.. the henchmen too will politely mix them in their own paint well done….

You and I and they and them need to take a slow panting less walk from Green Garages up the hill and arrive First Bridge. Then a sharp right we trundle on towards boundary stone ; a second gate to guard the fort you will see. On a polite note and the green light from HQ the warrior will open these and let us in… our hearts are beating as we prepare … we reach the point where the concrete bench embedded into the hillside on the left … it is hear your may on a cold crisp but chemical night feel the wind rush as a horse bolts with Pierce’s Lefroy Ghost. On a perfect spring day it was here where Mrs Advani showed me my first fern on the Nature Study Walk – I was in Class Transition but she always made it sweet simple translation…

.. we now look down towards the School Main Gate…

It was 59 years ago when we first entered …March 01st 1961…

At least for us Cottonians.. we have a place which we can call HOME…
May All Our Sins be forgiven

Vivek Bhasin
Lefroy 1961-1970

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