The Ice Cream Seller

a poem by NILANJANA HALDAR, India

The Ice-cream seller in PGI

No! The Sun keeps away as my white-box chills
The truck, they say, belonged to another
I never got to see that he sucked dirt out of life
“The melting cream!”,he’d frighten his mother.
"The demons will suck up my life, ground me
No reason to carry on with days of numbered hope.
The freezer is dead and I have toiled enough,mate
I think it is time to fathom the brunt of a broke”.

Once the beauty,the truck, came in for me
I saw none but how beautifully it produced and produced
Dear Doctor, I saw the coloured exterior labels
Once dead and whithered and thoroughly abused
That stood the time,now repainted looked fresh
Had drawn one,no! two,no! a dozen,each a tiny daisy
They who were drawn to this with their intrinsic affinity
My Laboured-awaiting transforming to an incoming-frenzy

No!I always overlooked the possibilities of loss
I always saw the abundance fill into my little glory-filled van
I park my truck at the huge roar of coloured turbans that come
At the face of an institute that can never turn pale and tan
Was outside New Opd and saw the old lady at the gate
Cursed by shatters of fits that do often cry and scream
I have noticed her come to you with hidden agony
That showed like brown patches bathed in melting cream

She asked me once,"You take after my love and my son”
“I see you happy selling your “buns" out to people around
I made my love notice the joy in your eyes,the fun and cheer
That your eyes twinkle with and thoroughly swim and abound”
"You’ll laugh! Once during my daily visits,”she continued
Into Dr. Sharma’s clinic, 3 months back it was I believe
I told Sir I had lapsed on my medication for a while when,
He blinked with taunt and the usual guilt I was left to perceive"

He said a word or two in reproach and I fell silent trust me
That’s when my love intervened and uttered his words out
"Dr. Sharma you're right, her memory flutters often
Tell her,and she’ll forget her meals even,without doubt
She dances to her own music and sees nothing wrong
Plays her own music with so much joy and vigour,
Marvellously though her fits obey her messy ways y'know
Her music and joy and relishment do shroud every rigour".

“My love always managed to break his yells",she would say
Sigh!I know we all miss her. I followed the hearse that day
Her love has ensured she is laid safe amongst the stars now
And is never coming back to grab another cream-cone away.
She would always repeat something," I loved how he managed
To Always silence my doctor by words of amorous-courage” :P
But deep down,you long a lot,Sharmaji,you space out often
Wake up! For I saved your favourite Cassata in chilled storage..

-- Dr. Nilanjana Haldar( PGI is the institute where I work)

(I'm a doctor, my stories abound in little tales from my work-life)

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