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The Story of a Vase

vaseI liked this magnificent vase ever since I was a kid,
Imagining it with the most beautiful flowers the world ever had,
Tinted with freshest green leaves posing amid.
I would tell myself that I would get it one day,
As it would shine brighter and lovelier resting in my hands,
And the world would envy, only having the best things to say.

And so, I gather all my strengths,
Put every bit of my energy weaving a million dreams,
With an undying hope which could scale all lengths,
That once the vase is mine, my happiness would cross extremes.
All through the years while the vase was there to be taken,
I give my everything, suffering all the pain it takes,
Hiding a million tears behind a smiling face, unshaken.
I then claim the vase, like a King asking for his realm forsaken.

And when I do get it, I cry with joy and thank a thousand Gods.
But having struggled for years to get it,
I am in hurry to feel what it’s really like – every single bit.
Sky high with expectation but equally filled with unrelenting hope,
I remove its cover, and feel its touch that I had imagined for so long.
I caress through its fragile baby-like body in a gentle slope,
And run through its immaculate carvings – weak and strong,
Capturing its beauty in every second I spend,
Wondering which flowers would suit it best and to which end.
I am all weak with my fingers trembling a little,
With an inherent fear that it might be harmed by me,
Because it is so perfect and exotic, but seemingly brittle,
And even a scratch would be a great shame on me.

But then I see it, my worst fears materializing.
Wherever I touch, the vase seems to develop a crack,
And wherever I hadn’t yet, seems to shine brighter like in spring.
Horrified and clueless, I quickly keep it back on the table,
Staring at my own hands like in a fable,
To find any sharp claws of a monster I might be!
I keep a distance and wonder for a long time,
Avoiding my bare hands not to go anywhere near the sublime.
I keep asking everyone about about our strange chemistry,
But it remains as a painful and an unsolvable mystery.

Another day I study it closely with care,
To notice that the cracks are healed and the vase is shining.
So now I try to feel it again, with my hands bare,
But the vase starts to crack even more, declining.
The farther I stay, the vase heals itself to be beautiful,
And the nearer I go, the cracks open up to stare at me.
The moment I touch it, it starts breaking further,
As if asking me to stay farther and farther.

I don’t give up as I try to fix it with my only gloves on,
With extreme care, as the helpless tears fill in my eyes,
I pray and hope that I would undo it all, paying every price.
But the vase doesn’t see it, as it breaks even further,
Like a cute little doll of snow that melts to be mere water;
The moment you want to feel its touch, there’s already a slaughter.

I ask myself, as damaged as my own dear vase,
Whether to keep trying to fix it with everything in store,
Which most probably would break it even more,
Or to stay away from it and watch it over forever from a distance.
But that’s a shame for it’s my own vase,
And it’s a shame that I’m the only one hurting it.
I have broken all my promises to keep it the best,
And I have no idea why it’s breaking with my own touch.

As I sit in front of my vase lost and clueless,
I notice a strange thing that I’d never seen before.
The flowers and leaves in the vase shrivel down to be lifeless,
Once I’m away and distant from them;
But as I near the vase and look at it with care,
They liven up, arousing to be fresh, bright and rare.
I take a deep breath and hold the vase once more,
And the flowers are now even perfect but the vase still cracks.
Shocked and impulsive, I throw away the flowers and leaves,
And hug the vase tight, as if it could hear my heartbeats,
And suddenly I know that the vase would no longer break.

(11th, 13th and 24th January 2015)

Categories: Poems

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Chinmay Hegde

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