This tale is of a man,
a man who had everything,
everything taken away from him.
The truth is yet to be told.
This story only time shall unfold.
As the tale begins, we find
from beauty was born a beast.
Darkness arose from within light’s feast.
Far away in a nightless valley
was a land with no blind alleys.
Blossoming flowers rejoiced all around.
Upon every face, only smiles and laughter were found.
Some called it the fields of Utopia
from a time brighter than the Golden Age.
Here, all were overcome by a feeling of euphoria,
except a man within whom resided slight rage.
Standing in the midst of this sun-lit land
was a man oblivious of the darkness in his hand.
With joy all around him,
he should have been content.
But his shadow bore the mark of death
for warmth in his heart had long perished.
Forever dreaming of his final breath,
he’d forgotten the love of those he once cherished.
For days, he stood by a forest,
a forest through which light did not pass,
where no bird ever dared to nest,
where the trees denied entrance to any mass.
This dark forest only the man could see,
and only he felt the urge to explore its secrets.
Would he choose to stay in the sun-lit land
or venture forth into the looming trees?
As it appears, he chose the latter.
Was it a mistake? Perhaps. But it was his choice.
So he ventured forth,
unable to resist the temptation,
only to soon realize his mistake
and yearn to retrace his steps.
The dark forest laid a cruel trap for him,
leaving him lost within itself.
An affliction of emotions passed through him
and ended on the note of misery.
He continued to struggle to no avail.
His reminiscence led only to regret
along the pathway to sadness.
And so he slept
to find serenity in his dreams,
to search for the paradise he left behind.
In his dreams, he never left his home,
and his beloved lay beside him.
For her to be his,
a single rose was all that he needed.
This rose lay between them.
A pluck, a pass, and she would be his.
And try he did to grasp the rose,
but his fingers passed through
like mist; he could never attain his love.
And so his dream continued
as the vision it was fated to be,
and he watched all be merry
except him and the trees.
Soon, where he sat in his dreams
became where in reality he would sleep,
for not a single night, but for all nights to come.
Time passed and the trees withered,
yet this man’s dream continued.
All he had was now only a vision.
This was the story of a man,
a man who was once blessed with happiness
but whose desire for the past left only remorse.
By NEEL MUKHOPADHYAY