Poem-16 (7.1)


Teesta Review: A Journal of Poetry, Volume 7, Number 1. May 2024. ISSN: 2581-7094


 Half a Drop of Tear

--- Sankar Narayan Mallick


When he came from Kolkata,

The youngest son,

There was no flight ticket then for him,

And he took the sad, somnolent train.


He had got a sudden phone call from his eldest brother

That there was serious ailment of father,

And he had to come home.


When he stepped into the house,

There was a sudden and sad silence.

 His companion and mentor, his father

His own teacher of Mathematics and English,

After a tired day, with a few cigarettes to stoke him up,

Was now no more!


He could not see him for the last time

Maybe, somewhere within, he was weary of witnessing it

And refused the reality of the scene.


Siblings, six in all,

Burst into tears on seeing him come after it was all over.

He could hardly go up to join the lament,

Only half a drop of tear

Slided half-way down his right check,

As if his grief he was keeping frozen

To be taken out and looked at later.


A void was around him in the mute house.

A void in the room where his father sat.

A void on the roads he had walked and his bed.

A void in the writing desk, and beside the radio set.


A void into which once or twice,

His father’s image came sailing in;

In solitary nights, simple dreams, life-like and so real

Telling him whatever was empirical,

And for the world to see in the light of day, was not all!


Even now I take it out sometimes,

On holidays and holy days, in noontime and at midnight

To look again at that half a drop of tear

And lo, it is all there,

Expansive like a desert,

Like the immense night sky.

The void that is so vivid,

And keeps flowing on and on

Like a wide wild river!









--- Sankar Narayan Mallick


Emptying the mind,

To be mindful.

One looks at it,

It is so soothing and soulful.


The power of the Null

To touch Nihilism

The pure and contentless


The continuous denial.


It fills it all

With a vast silence

Whence comes all the music,               

All notes and many a nuance.


Taking it all and moving beyond

Transporting one to a trance,

Whence all movements ensue

And comes all disorder, delight and dance.



Meaning the infinite ,

It is the canvas of all arts

It is the soul of music around which

We play all concerts !


It is Agape, Rahim and Sufiana

It is Tao, Shinto and Zen.

It is Om, Amen and Meditation

It is infinite and it is Null.

It is being nothing and being all.


It is void, so tranquil and tenuous

And almost not there!

And yet it is vivid, vibrant, vast

It is all love and all power !


(Notes :

Neti-Neti – Means ‘not this,not this’, an endless negation

Neti-Neti_- It also means ‘no end, no end’, an assertion of infinity )



Sankar Narayan Mallick is a graduate from Ravenshaw College, Cuttack and a postgraduate in Management from Utkal University. He has worked in the field of agriculture and rural development in Odisha, Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, UP and Mizoram in various capacities in NABARD. He is a bilingual writer in English and Odia. His passion is reading different genres of literature in English, Odia, Hindi, Bengali, and Assamese and listening to music. He is also into editing, reviewing and translation of books and studying the nuances of different cultures.