by Dilip Mohapatra (May 2016)

How desperately we clutch to our names

and surnames that spell our ancestry.

How fervently we seek out our roots

and draw up our family tree

and perhaps start a WhatsApp group.


How sheepishly we sport a faded T

that carries the crest of the old ship

or the logo of the company that we served

quite some time ago

or use our last few faded visiting cards

with an insertion in ink the word former

and carry an unpolished

during our morning walk

that reminds of the glories

 in which we once basked.


How expectantly we face the mirror

and seek our bygone youth in the furrows

from the corners of our translucent eyes

the youth that has slipped away quietly

like sands through our clenched fist

leaving only few traces

of tiny crystals stuck between the fingers

as cruel reminders

that so very desperately we hang unto

to protect and preserve our virility

and to save us from the insecurities of

greying hair and to

insulate our vulnerability.



Dilip Mohapatra (b.1950), a decorated Navy Veteran started writing poems since the seventies . His poems have appeared in many literary journals of repute worldwide. Some of his poems are included in the World Poetry Yearbook, 2013 and 2014 Editions. He has four poetry collections to his credit published by Authorspress India, and one non-fiction, a book of wisdom titled Points to Ponder. He holds two masters degrees, in Physics and in Management Studies. He lives with his wife in Pune. His website may be accessed at


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