Once Upon a Time

When we were young and green
The yearning significant view
Of the house on top of the hill
Filled us with envy, for this
Was where ancient legends grew

But we grew up and grew out of the village
And when we returned many years later
We heard of the friendly father, who high on spirits
And enlightenment, sold off paddy fields
Like they were peanuts, and of the daughter

Beautiful and brilliant, who ran away with hope
And with the silent and bold
Silver-tongued chauffeur, and came back
Walking, with her lovely luggage
Six months old.

And of the benevolent mother, who in her room
Filled with agarbathi fumes, lost
Herself in chants and endless fasts,
Staying awake night after night with a lit torch
To frighten away the family ghost.

When we returned with our wives
We believed we were worldly-wise.
But still the crunch time query arose:
Should we buy the crumbling house or live
In the palaces we could ourselves build?

We stroked our chins but did not raise our eyes.

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About VijayNair

I retired as Associate Professor, Department of English, Government Victoria College Palakkad, Kerala. I taught English Language and Literature in various colleges for 31 years. My Ph.D. thesis was on the plays of Wole Soyinka. My collections of verse include "The City and the Hermitage" (1988), "Doors Swing Open" (2008), "Eyes" (2010) and "Whispers of Light in Darkness" (2013). My poems have also appeared in the International Anthologies "I am a Poet" (2013), "With Love" (2013), "Synthesis" (2014) "Poetic Symphonies" (2015) and "Heavenly Hymns" (2015).

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