The great leader’s shadow

I go to see the great leader’s statue, but it is too hot, so I step into his great shadow. Immediately I hear the tinkling of a stream. When my eyes adjust to the darkness I make out a young boy standing close to me, along with his goat. He smiles at my surprise. He spits out the blade of grass that he is chewing and says it takes a while to get used to the shadow—’you’ll be able to see more and more as your eyes fill up with the void. There are many of us here and more keep coming. We spend most of the day under the shadow and move across the landscape from west to east.’ Where is the stream, I ask. Oh, that’s the sound of all the streams that went dry, he says. Are you a ghost, I ask, and then seeing the hurt in his eyes, I mumble that it is unhealthy to live away from the sunlight. The boy smiles again and lifts his foot. The sun is shining under his soles. That is where the grasses are growing.

summer noon
the wind shifts
mid-sentence

Salil Chaturvedi

The great leader’s shadow

One thought on “The great leader’s shadow

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