Cancer was his kaleidoscope


Cancer was his kaleidoscope

He left home early for school that day,

His mother let him, she knew she couldn’t make him stay

Taking her hand in his,

Just before leaving

He had said, “ I’m your little soldier”,

How could she forget

A statement which kept her strong too

Fear gripped her

Acceptance made her tremble

Because she had seen two lives crumble

The moment they spoke aloud her fear.

But the little boy saw it differently

He said, “cancer is my kaleidoscope”

One night, just before being tucked under the covers

He looked at her face and smiled

Then stretched out his hand towards her

And wiped away a tear from her face

His voice just above a whisper was heard in the dim light

“I see life mum, I looked and went after it, I found life.”

She stroked his hair, swallowed her sorrow and asked him about his latest discovery

He continued

He pointed his finger towards the open window and said

Those clouds, up above are not just shapes to recognise

They deceive us, those shapes are mere reflections of our perception.

Much like how you and me lived our lives before we knew about cancer

And the clear sky, when the stars shine bright

That’s the reality, mom.

It tells me my way is clear now and there’s a silver lining in the dark too.

He talks about his school

Turning students into mules

Confining knowledge to a page

And answers about the universe within four walls of a classroom

Education is relative to time

As lessons are given deadlines.

If you write within the lines it’s calligraphy

But if a word exceeds a line, it’s scribbling

If margins are absent in a test

The text holds no meaning

Curtains are drawn for concentration

Little do the elders know there’s curiosity even in the folds

So when I’m told

It’s going to be okay by the people I know

I believe it is going to be better.

Because I’ll be away, living in a world without margins, where my thoughts are not defined by age

Where looking out the window isn’t a crime to be punished for

Where no one can set the limits for me

And I am more than my last report card sheet.

As she listens her son’s heart speak

She looks at him lovingly as he adds in the end,

I hope this gets published in a worn out, scribbled way with each letter of a different colour

Each line of text unaligned and pages a little folded in the end.

My own little story for another book.


Anupma Singh Dhar


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