MEMORY

HOW OFTEN?

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How often we have flipped over
the pages of our foggy memory
and stood before our younger self?
So many journeys into our self in black and white,
So many times!

 

Ah, this is me, a plain Jane,
with a shock of curly hair,
grinning with a missing tooth!
And, here I am with my cousins
and my brand new carom board,
A gift on my thirteenth birthday!

 
And this again is me,
in a new pair of glasses
What a feather brained, book worm I was then!
And this one with my dear Amma,
(Such good looks she had!),
She wore sleeveless blouses and read poetry!

And here’s my father, the strict disciplinarian:
“Cross your t’s and dot your i’s
Come home before the last sun rays touch the sky!”
It’s here I stop in silence for a while
and watch my younger self come to life.
I shiver, I dread still, though I am  past my prime.
My younger sister,his favorite, carried tales to him,
(She was always the spoilsport !)
But this was no crime,that i had done
just being honest I thought it then.

He hollered and I saw a storm brewingimages (10)

“Hold your tears!
I have no patience for all this,
And I hate to  hear this emotional nonsense,
You’ve crossed the line, of discipline
So, no more radio, no more play this entire week.”
(It was adding insult to injury, I feel)
I crumble like a cookie, aghast .
But then if he thought he was right,
Let him be,why dwell in the past?images (8)

With this I am jolted back into the present
(Do I still resent it? I think, I do!)
Outside, the sun is a burning ball of fire
And it looks like rains have plans to retire,
(Forgetting us, the sinful ones?)

But, now I can feel the raindrops clinging to my eyes,images (9)

And I can hear the rain falling on my wounded soul!

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Disclaimer: The narrator has no intention whatsoever to justify or prove a point. All persons and events in this poem are fictitious.

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MEMORY

TOUCH

A MOTHER REMEMBERS:

The  little Prince Charming

peeped from behind the old pine tree,

and flashed a naughty smile at her,

( The tooth fairy had taken away the two front teeth!)

a tiny cleft on his delicate chin,

Her  hero! with the  loveliest eyes,

alive with so many hows  and whys!

 

With a burst of energy he  ran to her

where she sat knitting socks for him.

Oh no! he tripped and fell just then,

The gravel bruised his tender knees,

A dew drop clung to his eyes, raw with hurt,

And  as for the mother’s heart?

Her heart missed a beat to see him fall,

she held him tight in a warm hug

and showered sweet nothings on him.

(O! a mother’s touch, so loving a touch!)

 

Then evening came and the night was near

(Evenings and nights- the story time!)

he tiptoed into the magic world

of the little red bird lost in rain,

of the runaway steam engine that huffed and puffed,

of  a laughing ghost who cared not scared,

of  the black faced  monkey with  a rope like tail,

of  a little dappled fawn that hopped and skipped..

O!  A funny world of  funny tales!

 

Soon he slipped into a dreamless slumber,

And  a tiny smile touched his angel face.

And his mother? She , too , smiled

and touched her heart,

and asked for God’s loving grace!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MEMORY

Memories Unplugged

 

One day she stepped so softly
in the cellars of her mind
A gentle nudge on her way
What a treasure did she find!
A sepia tinted photograph
of her and him in a frame
Her fingers traced his name
in dust , the spools of life unwind!

It was the summer of sixty five
Her heart skipped a beat or two
To see her life so close by
A life, so full , so true
How young and dashing he did look 
holding hands in love they stood 
barefoot on the silver beach
each within their loving reach.

Her dream-soaked eyes 
smiled at the sunset sky 
splashed with fiery red
No words were said, 
and silence bred
their feet touched 
the foamy tide
The salt wind sang 
and seagulls cried.
A sudden storm 
and a tempest wild 
swept them into the Deep.
All was quiet , 
all was calm
No sign was left to see.

She touched the frame, 
She felt the pain
Her eyes brimmed with tears 
The dream, alas, had come to an end
All nightmares had disappeared!
Now oft when she walks on silver beach
and that fateful summer remembers
That he touched her heart 
and warmed her soul,
And made her life worth so many,
She plugged the void in her soul
and made peace with Destiny!

 

 

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MEMORY

Do You Remember Still?

“Yeh jo hum mein tum mein karar tha….

Begum Akhtar, the melody queen!

This soulful song,  my favorite,

At this hour of the night?

The  bedside lamp throws

dark , clumsy shadows

on the painted wall.

Do i hear a footfall?

The window curtain whispers .

Silence. Wind. Chill.

What a thrill !

 

My pulse quickens,

My heart misses a beat.

i step out in the dark

covered  in a thin shawl

and shiver  in the windy night

The sullen backyard  holds its breath.

the silence looks  electric,

A full moon , pale and passionate

The Night Champa , heavy with flowers

white blossoms drop

slowly and softly

on the still-warm earth.

 

The last  night train whistles and rattles, far away.

“Yeh jo hum mein tum mein karar tha….

The song  trembles  in the sweet scented  air

Why does it pull me, coax me, tempt me….

Like  a maiden fair?

“Do you remember still, the promises we made

the love we shared,

Do you remember still?”

Raw emptiness claws and corrodes , the inside.

A  sigh escapes

and loses itself

in the silent night.

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