• kewal sethi

the marriage which did not come off

the marriage which did not come off


living all by himself is always a desolate life

the maid was getting on and yet was not a wife

no person came along to pledge his troth

to say the blessed word which she sought

then one day out of the big wide blue

a presentable one came there to woo

the family was happy, merriment was in the air

the young man seemed earnest and was very fair

he sought the flowers, he contacted the band

he brought the gifts and arranged the venue grand

he talked to parents and told them virtue of the place

and quickly obtained their blessing and grace

he said he would go and bring his friends

but the uncle was suspicious to no end

the boy had met everybody but him, that was wrong

came to him only when some one pushed him along

the uncle scolded the boy and told him his terms

stipulated so many conditions that the boy squirmed

the old man kept him till he had his full say

the boy made appropriate noises and went away

uncle was not satisfied and followed to bring him back

that way he would have the honour to serve the clan

he told the father to wait and receive him at the station

the train was late and father had to honour an invitation

the father managed to reach the station but too late

the party had come but none to receive them at the gate

the father took it into his stride but the uncle lost his temper

he demanded an apology and cursed till the boy whimpered

at last uncle was pacified and everything was right

but the boy had made his decision that very night

while everyone slept, he quietly made his escape

thus uncle Langam turned away the Damania Airways.

(Imphal July 23, 1995

behind this poem, there is a history. Manipur was an isolated place with no air connections. The Damania Airways wanted to start a flight. All the arrangements were made. But the Transport Minister (you guessed right. It was Shri Langam) was not happy. He wanted something which was rumoured to be quite substantial. The CM could not be present at the inargual flight and the demands went on increasing. No wonder the flight ceased to operate almost without notice. Now you can go back and read the poem again.)

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