As the mostly young audience cheers and hangs on to every wizened word
Past the halo of honors and laurels that rest lightly on your frail shoulders;
deep furrows and fine lines that crisscross your face
the sharp-as-paper-edge temper
your lack of patience with fools
that blunt directness of your cryptic, barked replies
the arms you’ve earned, from a life honestly lived
That 9 to 5 is not mandatory
That putting up, adjusting, making do is not mandatory
That it is completely possible to hold a point of view, which is entirely your own
To fight an unfair fight without bitterness corroding
To wait for the end with composure
Nothing is mandatory.
Thoughts on listening to Mahasweta Devi (84), the feisty fiery brilliant author- activist, at Prithvi y’day.