aS featured: On the Other Side

One who reads, writes. More so, if he/she is an aS reader. (Oh yes!) This new year we bring to you 'aS featured' where we will publish selected arbit creations submitted by the readers to us.

'aS featured' takes off with the wings of poetry. We sincerely thank all the participants for sending their entries. Judging all those poems was difficult. Or may be not.
Ladies and gentlemen, presenting to you, the first winner of aS featured!!!
Akhilesh Prasad – IIT Kharagpur
Here’s the winning entry:

On The Other Side
There was a time when,
Eating was not about a strict diet,
Not about counting the calories in an ever losing fight,
Not about, for a rainy day, saving adipose in your thighs,
It was about
chomping on chocolates till your nose begins to run,
Ice-creams and lollipops and sugar-laden buns,
Hogging it all down like an insatiable Hun.
There was a time when
Life was not about 'Working in the present'
Not about 'Aspiring high and a higher ascent'
Not about societal expectations that ancestors did invent.
It was about
Rough-housing in the dirt, and not giving a thought
Searching papa's pockets to see what for you he bought,
And throwing a pretty tantrum if your search returns you naught.
There was a time when,
Love was not about relationships or compromises,
Not about callous biases,
Not about 'understanding' your partner's devises.
It was about
A sketchy crayon doodle from me to you,
a flying kiss over miles as the wind blew,
and wondering if we'd get married at the zoo.
There was a time when,
Friends were not about mutual benefits,
Not about being kept close by affidavits,
Not about 'bye-bye, bro' if the profits dip.
It was about
Sharing lunch-boxes under the sun,
Daily shenanigans all in innocent fun,
and comic fighting over that toy gun.
There was a time when,
Professional life was not about stress and survival,
Not about cheating past your rivals,
Not about craving for that elusive promotion's arrival.
It was about
Unwillingly reading under mother's watchful eye,
And in ten minutes protesting with your trademark battle cry,
Only to be quieted with sweet words (or with a pinch on the thigh).
There was a time when,
Security was not your responsibility at all,
'Twas not about avoiding them fanatical bar brawls,
Not about dangers to your wife and children, to forestall.
It was about
Running amok on the roads with father sprinting behind,
Sleeping 'tween your parents, where ghosts won't ever you find,
Boohooing over a tiny bruise, but the world won't be more unkind.
There was a time when,
Partiality and bigotry were unknown perceptions,
'Twas not about hating blindly, and making exceptions,
Not about keeping your peace with self-deception.
It was about
Playing with the other boy, irrespective of his name,
Wanting to celebrate all festivals (who'd miss those sweets, clothes and games!)
Where they came from, or who they prayed to - for you it was all the same.
There was a time when,
Life was so much simpler,
Things were so much clearer,
Goals were so much funner,
Existence was so much freer
Than it is today.
There was a time when,
My hands were so much nimbler,
My thoughts were so much cleaner,
My feelings so much truer,
My worries so much fewer,
Than they are today.
Nostalgia, you add weight to my heart,
But then I see from my window,
My own little children playing in the courtyard,
The littlest one falls down and bruises her knee,
"Papa!" she comes crying to me,
And as I tend to my tiny princess,
The heavy weight lifts away,
For if it's true that my childhood is long gone,
Life has a smilingly curious way of going on,
I find myself in a childhood again with pride,
Just that this time, I'm on the other side.
-Akhilesh Prasad                                                

Do you think that your poem is aS-featured worthy too? Send across your English/ Hindi poems to . Who knows, you might be the next aS-featured!!!


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