Sunday, June 09, 2013

The House Where Kipling Lived

House Where Kipling Lived

Leaves drop in sibilant silence
The paths that leads to it are unswept.
The trees draped with vine
Breathe the air that he breathed
A century and a half ago; yet,
Seems like yesteryear.

The bungalow stands in decrepitude
Rotten wood painted green
Crumbling with no master inside
To give it a dusting, Gunga Din would do fine.
The staircase down which he descended
Now creaking and brittle with age
The balustrade coated with grime.

At the entrance is a weathered bust
A reminder of the man who portrayed the East
As a sign-seeking misinterpreting man of the West
The trees entered his heart; the vines his soul
There they stand before the old bungalow
Bandar-log[1] peeping from its branches.

If we be The White Man’s Burden[2]
How come he praised Gunga-Din[3]
You’re a better man than I am?[4]
Here, in this dereliction, was born one who loved the East
Told its stories to an appreciative West
Forgetful city, oh, please remember your son
Your history books take scant notice of this one, your bard.

[1] From The Jungle Book
[2] A poem written by Rudyard Kipling
[3] The protagonist of the poem Gunga Din
[4] From the poem Gunga Din

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