Volume 1 Issue 34: Dawn

First light
Sunil Sharma

As the rose-fingered dawn arrived, he could see the change around.

 He had eagerly waited for the special hour when two opposites meet and separate. The night was long and tortuous. And, draining!

24 hours!

The doctors had predicted clinically. If the patient survives, chances of recovery are bright.

Awfully grim, the prognosis!

He had tiptoed to the ICU room and looked helplessly at the prostrate figure on the steel bed, all strapped up; the monitor flickering in the semi-darkness. The tubes were inserted inside the mouth; wrists bound; blanket in place. The figure, comatose, still.

A shrouded figure—mysterious, remote, beyond communication.

A life in balance!

Even prayers did not help!

Faith seemed to have deserted, when needed most.

Blank, inside-outside, he walked the corridors; pain on mute, seeing, yet un-seeing, like other attendants, majority sprawled in the narrow area meant for the relatives of such patients, admitted into a grey zone, where death and will-to-live battle in an uneven contest.

The post-Diwali Delhi sky was smoggy; air quality, very poor. Residents wore masks on the streets; a replica of some Hollywood film on dystopia being run in real-time.

Stars, hardly visible. 

There was the stench of decay.

Hospitals always scared him!

Eerie feeling!

Subtle tension prevailed. The tension flowing out of an uncertainty— about the fate of a dear one, kept alive on a machine and by robots in white robes, un-smiling and gruff.

As the night slowly dissolved, he felt relief—visual, emotional, psychological.

After all, things might not be that bad!

The recovery is possible.

Miracles happen.

How light changes human perceptions, perspectives!


4.30 AM.

His mood lightened.

The gloom was dissipating.

The promise of a new, fresh dawn on the horizon!


5.05 AM

The sky turns magical. Few seconds, the dimness grows into soft mauve, then light purple, and, finally orange, deep and dark.

The firmament, live, electrifying!

painted by Claude Monet: Impression Sunrise: Red, blue, gray—mixed up in blotches of colours, executed in short brushstrokes, forming a distinct sensory experience.


The darkness fades; first light appears.

The divine vault radiates varied colours. The stars vanish.  New day heralded by the resplendent goddess, called Aurora, Eos, Usha.

Be alive, up and early— to see the birth of a fresh world, at dawn!

He remembered Kalidasa:

Look to this day:
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and realities of your existence.
The bliss of growth,
The glory of action,
The splendour of achievement
Are but experiences of time. 

For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision;
And today well-lived, makes
Yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well therefore to this day;
Such is the salutation to the ever-new dawn! 


Reverentially, revived by the primeval energy, deity of daily change, he folds hands and begins chanting of the hymns in her praise; optimistic, positive, poised…

Sunil Sharma is Mumbai-based senior academic, critic, literary editor and author with 19 published books: Six collections of poetry; two of short fiction; one novel; a critical study of the novel, and, eight joint anthologies on prose, poetry and criticism, and, one joint poetry collection. He is a recipient of the UK-based Destiny Poets’ inaugural Poet of the Year award—2012. His poems were published in the prestigious UN project: Happiness: The Delight-Tree: An Anthology of Contemporary International Poetry, in the year 2015.

Sunil edits the English section of the monthly bilingual journal Setu published from Pittsburgh, USA:


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Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

6 thoughts on “Volume 1 Issue 34: Dawn

Add yours

  1. Extremely delightful short!
    The grim n grave night scene of the hospital is described as beautifully as is the multi-hued dawn!


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