YMMV

Ramarao Kanneganti (rama@writeme.com)
8 May 1998 05:20:59 -0000


Sithilaalayam 
 -

Once they were mighty. They could break the rocks with their bare
hands. They stood tall, with irons legs and fiery breath. They almost
touched heavens.

Each one of them appeared superhuman. They may have had flaws, but
that only accentuated their strengths.

Or, so I believed.

This was a long time back, when I was growing up, when I looked up to
everybody around. All of them appeared as gaints.

Now, I go back in search of them. I find broken images. I find the
shells of former gaints. I find them old, not the graceful old of a
queen mother. But, toothless old. Arithritis old. Weak and old.

Once they were warriors. Once they were my people. I laughed with
them, cried with them. I grew up with them. Now, on a one day trip, I
talk to them. I listen to them. I even laugh with them.

Still, I am a stranger. I do not know these decripit people. My
feelings are too clinical. 

The mighty rustum that lifted the rock outside our village is now
operating a money-lending business. He no longer breathes fire.

That has-been beautiful girl is a mother of two, with weather beaten
face with no aspirations. 

The invincible woman that I admired is struggling for a loan to farm
in the next season. She does not reach for heavens.

Why does it appear that life seems to have escaped this place? Why
does the existence become a day-to-day drab affair?

I sleep on the way back. I dreamt that I was young again. Amidst the
gaints, I felt safer.

I come back. I may still be dreaming. 

After such knowledge what forgiveness?

--
Ramarao Kanneganti,
May 8, 1998.