Friday, July 19, 2013

A Prayer to Childhood

The gulmohar tree outside your father’s house
Its scarlet flourish and its dark green attire
Its wizened brown flesh – you know this tree
It tells you something, in the language of the wind
Which caresses your unshaven face, adds scent on your
Nostrils, you knew this language, this tree-language
Encrypted in a gust of wind, among the blowing dust

It was the first language you learnt, before learning to
Cry, before learning to hide your face on your mother’s
Bosom, before starting to use your feet – days were long
Then and nights short, everything was new and you had
Enough time to learn and those petals with the colour of
Sun’s last rays were your first teacher, those finger-like
Leaves were first friends, the gray trunk your first shelter

Now, your days are short and night long, now you look
For friends on the flickering screen of a tiny device, now
You are a homeless wanderer, and you have forgotten
The tree-talk – you stand there, you know you have forgotten
Something, but do not know what, you remember
The long days, you walk towards your father’s house, you
Remember: There once lived a boy who was happy.

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