Softly in the night a figure comes and stands by my bed
Handsome face suffused in worry lines, cautious his tread.
Sheathed in a thousand and one fragrances of yester years
Reminding me so subtly
Of that guava tree
Where parrots chattered
Ah, I still remember one parrot bruised and battered
Which was nursed back to life
By that figure which often comes and stands by my bed.
And ah so soothingly.
I eavesdrop on the nocturnal sounds of silence
Which mingle with the soft cadences of yesteryear s’ lost rhyme
And in hushed whispers try to mime
That halcyon time.
Those rambunctious picnics of untrammeled fun
In the rambling courtyards of mottled forts
Watched enviously by the wattled cotes
And the bright eyed urchins
With spittle-smeared smiles and grins
And yes, the soothing notes of a lullaby fall into my ears
Travelling across years and years
Soft and sweet
What a melodious treat
When tethered to “sick fatigue and the languid doubt”
I wonder what this harried life is all about.
Chasing runaway kites to shepherds’ shacks
Which stood at the end of thorny tracks
Picking berries in the undulating meadows
Where the scarecrows wordlessly
Hobnobbed with the birds
Ah these memories are just faint shadows
Interspersed with granny’s chuckles
Crying over undone buckles
Churning of that home made ice cream
Was it just a passing fancy, a rosy dream?
But these times have a resilient knack
Of coming back
Disguised as memories
And peeping through a crack
Springing up ghost like from shady nooks.
Sometimes while watching naughty brats like canny crooks
Chasing agile rooks
They pounce at one
It is a Pyrrhic victory won.
So many years flown away
But reclaimed in these memories of a lost time.
In an unguarded moment
Mundane or grandiloquent
They rise with just one refrain
“We are here, there everywhere
In the air
Catch us if you can, we are an overcrowded store.”
And like Oliver Twist I plead , “please sir, I want some more”.