by M. Mohankumar

The bond that a child shares with her mother is characterized by assurance – the child’s instinctive belief that there could be no safer place in this world that a mother’s arms, writes M. Mohankumar in his poem.

The old man said, ‘Look at that child
in the arms of the young woman.
How poised it is, how assured, amidst
all the fracas and loud-mouthed noise.’

‘You know why?’ he asked after a pause
and, without waiting for an answer, said,
‘It is because of the indissoluble bond,
the chemistry between mother and child.’

‘The child knows, knows by instinct,
that there could be no safer haven
than the enfolding arms of its mother,
come rain or storm, thunder or lightning.’

Then, looking me in the eye, he said,
‘You too had that assurance once,
didn’t you? But you lost it on the way,
tripping and falling. Want to regain it?’

‘Do no stray. Walk in the truth.
Believe in the invisible arms, out there
to protect you, even when a mountain
rolls down to crush your head.’

Who was this old man, who said
all this, leaving me dumb-founded?


Mohankumar has published seven volumes of poetry in English. His poems have appeared in almost all reputed literary magazines in print in India. His first collection of short stories in English, ‘The Turning Point and Other Stories’ has been published by Authorspress, Delhi . Mohankumar retired as Chief secretary to Government of Kerala.

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