By Shakti Pada Mukhopadhyay

The Tragic Indolence

Oh Hamlet! Why did you die?
The Ghost had warned you not to delay
and Horatio remained as a true friend.
But you committed blunder to postpone
your actions of killing Claudius at the first instance.

You wished to send Claudius’ soul to hell 
instead of heaven. Fate prompted you to kill
Polonius by mistake, leading to the array
of events like, suicide of Ophelia 
and the birth of the new avenger Laertes.
You took revenge of your father’s death,
fighting on the graveyard of your lover
and turning yourself as a martyr in the hands of destiny.
Ill fate sent your mother to a tragic end.

When you were bound to act, you had remained 
skeptical and dallied with purposes 
to find some pretence for indolence.
Your argument for delay the world missed 
to feel, as you had felt, “Ought I not to act?”

While you asked, your enemies had acted.
In the tragic fight, you had picked up the first foil
and asked casually, “These foils have all a length?”
But fate descended upon your enemies,
your mother and yourself.
Truly you became a tragic hero, 
due to your indolence and tragic actions.


Dr. Smith fell asleep after a daylong caring 
of Covid patients . He soliloquized 
in dream with a stream of consciousness,
finding his medical profession of no use,
for his failure to raise a dead or immortalize one.
Other professions like law or theology also seemed to be useless 
to him, other than getting power and pelf .
Following the Italian doctrine “Che Sara Sara”1,  
Black Art in magic attracted him, for getting power 
to command over the most powerful and the mind of all. 
He felt, “a sound magician is a mighty God”. 

On his earnest prayers to God, he was blessed  
with a God –like power for ten years,  
after which he would be sent to hell. 
With Black Art in magic, he started controlling clouds, winds
and the world and  moving anywhere  
to build castles in the air and for getting favor of  the rare 
belles. But nothing lasted in his absence. 
Soon he felt him as a buffoon, bereft of real power.
He dreamt his last day and hour on earth,
with messenger of God arriving any moment 
to take him to hell.
He wished the clock to stop & the Sun to rise 
again for a perpetual day. He prayed to God 
for his reprieve. But a call from a nurse
made him aware of the power of “Doctor Faustus”2, 
he had read last night.    

1. Che Sara Sara: meaning, “What will be will be.” 
2.  Doctor Faustus: a tragedy written by Christopher Marlowe


Harry and Grace travelled to a place 
to visit caves. A guide took them to caves,  
with long tunnels leading to dark
 and echoing chambers with bad odors. 
After a while, separated they were 
in the darkness of the caves. Scared was Grace 
and felt some naked thing had stuck and perched 
on her face. 

Her cries echoed with a bang. 
She ran from pillar to post in the dark, 
but could find none. Soon after, horrified Grace 
came out dazed with a scowling look, but could find 
neither Harry nor the guide. On her own she left 
for the hotel. Harry in other cave felt
some hallucination of spirits had followed him. 

The shrill echoes had made him crazy and he 
fell down senseless. A tourist had found him meanwhile
and raised a hue and cry to take him outside.
With first aids he could gain sense,  
but echoes of the cave still rang in his brain. 
Cops took him to the hotel, without finding Grace or the guide.

In the hotel, went on the eerie feelings to keep them mum.
Grace thought someone might have tried to molest her
in the cave, doubting either Harry or the guide.
But gifted with a mystic power now, she could read  
the future and felt Harry not her tailor-made. 
Harry also was agitated, with sounds of echoes 
still raving his mind. They had fought 
over silly things and came back home,
breaking their love forever.

“Big Rip”…. Never

Is it “Big Bang” or “Big Crunch”? How long
will man last? Those are the questions of the Universe.
Supply of hydrogen in the Sun will come to an end,
one day around 500 crores years after,
with the Sun looking like a Red Giant.
Rim of the Sun will cross the path of Mercury,
creeping the track of Venus.

The Sun will burn the Earth to a pitch,
but even before this, around 200 crores years after,
intense heat will turn all to ashes.
Survival theory of living races
for infinite days shall die a natural death.

But Scientific Eschatology and Religious Eschatology
have made men confident of the future trend.
Anthropic Principles also claim
that only life-supporting universes will survive,
since men live in a universe ready to defend life.
Otherwise, how charge of an electron
with a mass of 1/1836 of a proton,
has made the perfect combination for life to survive?

Before the “Big Rip” roars, human beings will ensure
to settle on a planet with a spinning star.
Adequate life that planet will assure.
Since men can’t make or wreck energy,
they will preserve it for nominal needs.
Autarky without aid from stars,
will enshrine the existence of Homo Sapiens.
Overcome we shall the constraints to endurance,
taking tips from sci-fi myths with scientific leads.

Shakti Pada Mukhopadhyay, BSC, CAIIB, DIM, DCO,MA (English), was an executive in a Bank. Three years back, a lyrical drama written & directed by him was staged with vast popularity. His writings have been published in many magazines and journals like, Borderless, Passager, Molecule, Better Than Starbucks, Tatkhanik, The Dribble Drabble Review, The Poet, Deep Overstock, Mindfull, CafeLitMagazine etc. His writings have also been accepted for publication in the near future in some other magazines like Muse India, Scarlet Leaf Review, Down in the Dirt etc.

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