Bidding Adieu to 2021: Seema Jain

On the threshold of bidding adieu to the year passing by
A string of memories comes gushing that makes you pause and cry
The injured pigeon of hope struggles too hard to survive
As the usual rhythm of life, humankind yearns to revive

O for that magical eraser that could wipe out from the collective memory
Ghastly spectacles of horrendous loss, death and stark agony
Dead bodies floating in the Ganga and crematorium chimneys melting
To cremate their dead, people seen in long queues waiting 

The schools, the parks, the marketplaces and the busy roads
All wore a deserted look and lost their bustling crowds
Children waking up in a weird world lost their fun and chatter
Grown-ups too longed for the joys of meeting, outings and crackle.

But those who lost their work or home or their dear loved ones
Will never see the world alas with the same eyes again
This year began with the hope of the vaccine as a silver lining
But the retreating year with renewed threat throws up newer challenges

The coming year should bring with it some promise of a dawn
And rays of hope for humankind that now is woebegone.
Pray the coming year brings health and cheer in its secret unseen coffers
And peace and harmony in abundance to every human it offers.

Seema Jain is a bilingual poet, short story writer, translator and editor who recently retired as Dean Academics, Associate Professor and Head, P G Dept of English from Kanya Maha Vidyalaya (KMV) Jalandhar Punjab India after having taught English Literature and Language for 39 years. Her published books include four books of poems titled Silent Letters, An Apology to My Father, Mom Ke Pankh and Dhoop Chhanv, a book of Hindi to English translation of poems titled Poetic World of Narendra Mohan, two edited Books titled Women Empowerment and Higher Education and Cross Cultural Nuances besides the translation of a novel from Hindi to English that is in the publication process. She has contributed to about 60 Anthologies and is currently engaged in compiling an Anthology of 21st Century Indian English Women Poets. She has acted as Chairperson and Convener at many international and national conferences, and has widely presented and published research papers at prestigious national and international platforms.

She is associated with many poetic forums and her poems and short stories have been widely published, translated, anthologized and recited during International Poetry Conferences, Webinars, social media platforms, and on TV and radio. She has received Purvottar Hindi Sahitya Academy Award and the ‘Master of Creative Impulse’ Award by Philosophique Poetica and Grand Productions Canada, and Punjab Kala Sahitya Akademi Award for her contribution to Literature, Creative Writing, Education and Research. She is the Founder President of Litspark: A Literary Forum, and a member of the prestigious international body, English Scholars Beyond Borders (ESBB).

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