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(1964 and doing pretty good.. / Thiruvalla, Kerala)

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Jack and Jill - 21st Century ballad

Jack and Jill went up the rugged hill
As all young and daring couples do
Having made oaths and promises
To go up there to fetch pails of water
From the well of conjugal happiness

After a big bash of a marriage
And a brief honey moon
They started off in earnest
Working for a living
Almost dying for a living
And the years as such went rolling by
And bawling kids came on the way
School fees, home works, gadgets
And life became a tiresome chore
Dedicated to educate
To free oneself all over again

But somewhere along the way
Jack fell down and broke his crown
Lost his sense and went into deep depression
Then hit the bottle and the wayside gutters
Till one day they lifted him only to bury him
And grey haired Jill continued to struggle
For some more time till her sons found footing
And then marriages followed
And then sweet daughters in law
Turned sour to mother –in –law Jill
And things seemed to get quite out of hand
And so one fine eve they all got together
To find a big solution to this big wrinkled problem
And it was not far off I hear, that one fine day
They took her to that very peaceful place
An old age home so to say
Where Jill now stares at others like her
Old, arthritic, depressed and toothless
And often when she looks into the mirror
In the hazy reflection of a once beautiful face
All she can see is a worn out hag

The one who came tumbling quite after..........

Submitted: Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Edited: Wednesday, October 30, 2013


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Poet's Notes about The Poem

This is a story of our times or rather what is happening in my home town of Kerala, India. Once the young birds leave the nest, aged parent(s) have to fend for themselves and have nothing to look forward to by way of comfort and compassion in the twilight of their lives.

Comments about this poem (Election Time by krishnakumar chandrasekar nair )

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  • Kanniappan Kanniappan (11/7/2013 9:05:00 PM)

    A real picture of today, the fate of the elders!

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  • Pradip Chattopadhyay (11/5/2013 4:43:00 AM)

    a reality so aptly told! we were so far free from this evil but now on us too has fallen its shadow.

  • David Wood (11/4/2013 7:47:00 AM)

    Jack and Jill
    Went up the hill
    To fetch a pale of water
    Jill came down
    With Half a crown
    And carrying a baby daughter

    Is another way of saying it: -) (half a crown is old money)

  • * Sunprincess * (11/3/2013 7:51:00 PM)

    This is also the story in America for the people who live that long...but with all of the health problems here the majority of people do not live long enough to go into a facility. I agree with Valsa, very dramatic but so realistic :)

  • Valsa George (10/31/2013 12:04:00 AM)

    This is a very dramatic and at the sametime realistic description of the present state of many married, aging couples! With a pinch of irony and humour, you have beautifully parodied the story of Jack and Jill! Kudos! This deserves a sure10

  • Lorraine Colon (10/30/2013 3:52:00 PM)

    This is quite a different read from what I learned as a child. It probably would have given me nightmares! But this is reality that you're describing, and you did a fine job.

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