The crown of literature is poetry.It is its end and aim. It is the sublimest activity of human mind. It is the achievement of beauty and delicacy. The writer of prose stop aside when the poet passes.
–William Somerset Maugham
I wrote my first poem when I was in class II. Some over-patriotic-die-hard poem. If I remember correctly its English translations would be something like this: Oh my dear motherland, I want to die for you. I am full of vigor, My blood is fresh and new. I was so mesmerized by my creativity that the next moment I was standing in front of my Dad, holding a torn paper with both hands and giving a shy smile.
Dad was reading newspaper sitting on couch. What is it son? Dad asked.
Poem. I replied in a shy voice with my eyes locked at floor.
Dad took a while to read and then looked at me. Gave a bigger smile and said-
This is the best poetry I have ever read. Very good. Veeery good. But it’s a bit short to be published?
I don’t know what I was thinking back then. I went straight back to my room and actually wrote twelve more lines. It was a masterpiece. At least that’s what I thought. Four sonnets of four lines each. And rhyming last words. Sweet. This time I got aroused by my creative ability. I completely overlooked the loop-hole in this whole excitement. My Dad is a doctor. Anyone he knows closest to print media is our newspaper-boy. Till today it remains a mystery what he meant by ‘to be published’?
So my first poem remained unpublished. But I was still oozing with poetry. And I delivered my second one after two years without any contraception. A new family just moved in to our neighborhood. They had a daughter named Diana. I didn’t really meet her at first. One day I saw her returning from school. She was wearing blue and white school uniform and I experienced love-at-first-sight for the first time. I said ‘first time’ because it kept happening pretty regularly since then. Every time a see a pretty girl I fall in love. My love is not that demanding. I don’t expect them to love me back. Rather I am that kind where the boy keeps loving from a distance and never expresses his feelings for her. In fact I think I have become a ‘love-at-first-sight’ specialist. But the problem is I am a perfectionist. Perfectionists have this extraordinary skill of restricting their love only to the first sight. To them second sight is never as lovely as the first one, third sight is ‘okey-okey’ and sights there after gradually turn ‘disturbing’. Whatever, back to my story. Our first meet was heavenly. My thoughts went crazy once again. But there was a small hitch in our (secret) relation. She was in class VII and I was still in class IV. This time I ventured into a new genre of poetry viz. romance, and as usual I was bedazzled. Next day I waited till evening. There was a little park for kids in our block. She comes to that park everyday along with three other girls, also from neighborhood. We used play an indigenous version of hide and seek there. One of the kids will be blindfolded. Then everybody else will run in all possible directions. The seeker will count till five then open his blind and start chasing any one. The indigenous part was, seeker had to count till five while touching and in the mean time if somebody else comes and touches seeker then he has to start all over again. The other three girls, now with Diana, also used to play with us. But they stopped paying when they entered class VII. Now they have a group of four girls who sit in the grass and keeps talking. They somehow manage to keep it audible only to themselves. If someone sits just behind any of them even then he won’t be able to grasp a single word they are saying. Although the giggles were pretty clear.
When she was coming back from park, I followed her. There was a narrow lane which I knew would be empty. Once she was in that lane I fast-forwarded my steps and was walking beside her.
I said- This is for you. I wrote it for you.
-For me? But it’s not my birthday today?
I wanted it to be out-of-the-world. So I wrote my poem in a colored paper with sparkles and she thought it to be a Birthday card. Can’t really blame her. She took it and started to read.
-How dare you write that to me? I’ll tell your mom.
That was it. She kept her word. What followed was not at all pleasant. Soon everybody in my block started to call me Mr. Poet. Even my classmates in school also started to call me Mr. Poet. I had to bear with that name till my last day in that school. I changed that school after class V. I learned from my mistakes and never tried poetry since then.
NOTE: I think I figured out why did she react so brutally to my lovely poem. Most probably she didn’t like my last stanza where I rhymed her name- Diana with banana.