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Safe Distance by Shafaat Shahbandari

Art by Marc Chagall

Space now has assumed a new meaning,

It has now grown wider than space,

Space between words

Written, spoken

Space – blank, left unattended 

Between what is said, unsaid

Spaces now have a lot to be desired. 

Widening spaces

Between hands unshaken

And the gaps left between fingers unraveled 

Lot of empty spaces everywhere 

Empty, hollow spaces 

Sprawling hearts and minds -

Prime real estates 

Unattended, hardly desired.

Safe distance maintained -

Those who were always distant

Have remained so

Those within safe distance, drifting apart

Nobody at arm’s length now

None within embrace 

Now, I only have space to grapple with

Everything else is distanced 

All the pride, hubris, ego kept at bay,

What space will they acquire now?

Shafaat Shahbandari is a documentary filmmaker, journalist and poet, based in Bengaluru. As a poet, Shafaat touches upon a wide range of subjects, from mundane daily stuff like death and hatred to serious matters such as beauty of a crow. He is the founder of Thousand Shades of India, a web-based platform for untold stories of unsung heroes, folklore, culture, heritage and traditional craft told through documentaries, photo features and travelogues.


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