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The 'TOMORROW' by Parbin Choudhury

The 'Tomorrow' Never have I been an exceptionally happy soul, But usually, I could atleast sleep at night, peacefully, But the past few days, have seized even that privilege from me. For these days, I wake up from my sleep all of a sudden, in the middle of the night; As if the last thoughts I got before I fell asleep, shook me awake. But once awake, I can't remember what I was thinking of. And I spend the rest of the night, confused, by the window sill, Desperately trying to hold onto the plethora of thoughts, crossing my mind for the umpteenth time. Sometimes, I spot an owl trying to capture a mouse. The mouse struggles to get into that tiny hole, but alas! The hole was too tiny for the big fat mouse, And the owl treated itself to a delicious mouse meal. I feel like that poor tiny hole, unworthy of even saving a mouse. I felt like someone excluded from the picture of everything important, Everything that was happening around, The feeling of being forlorn and vain surrounds me all day. I think of the stranded migrant workers, walking miles on their feet, Some reach home, some collapse mid-way. And all the starving and dying people whose jobs are swallowed by a pandemic, What shall be the 'tomorrow' of their children, is not even a question, As they are busy fighting today's battle of survival. And here I was, reading of them, hearing of them, their cries of agony, But I don't go to rescue them, for that's not my job it seems. I am served privileges on a platter, and my job is to enjoy them. Being the youngest, in a family of corona warriors: two doctors, two administrators, Who sets out every morning to render their significant contribution, to save lives, to abate chaos, I was always protected, treasured, so immensely valuable I was, Yet so futile, so fragile, incapable of doing anything for myself or the society. Just savouring on prerogatives, which now seems like shackles to me, That bounds me to an impenetrable prison of safety. I was helpful, but not qualified enough to help another human; I was educated, but not experienced enough, to put my education to practical use. I was humane, but fragile too, so much so, that my humanity was restrained to shield me. In a nutshell, I was of no use to anybody else, I just have to sit and anticipate, Hope for the fog to clear, await uncertainties to turn to assurances, hope for a beautiful tomorrow, a bright future, It feels like seeking out a tiny firefly in the woods of perpetual darkness. I want to know, What is that 'future" for which I am always hoping? What is that 'tomorrow' for which I am always prepared and protected? Is today not the 'tomorrow' that I was preparing for 10 years ago? Then why am I not a part of today's battle? 10 years ago I was hiding, safe, preparing, And today also, I am protected and still preparing. Preparing for an unseen future which seems to be lost, Lost somewhere, in the realm of the forces defending me. Perhaps I shall encounter it someday, When these defending forces weaken down, When the great hills have been brought down to rubble by the seism of time, I atleast hope to be completely trained and competent by then, Lest, I should be left standing unarmed, when finally shall arrive the most anticipated 'tomorrow'.


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