When I got married
And left my family
All I carried was a suitcase
Filled with love of home
And a bunch of old memories.
One afternoon in May
In my armchair as I lay
Heavy rain rushed down in fright
Hugging the windowpane tight
Lightning struck the pole
Wind shook the trees in galore
Soon, sky was shrouded in black veil
My sorrow too began to wail
Silent, dark, and dead
My house was the graveyard
In this vibrant and bustling boulevard.
Quickly, I lit up a candle
And slipped into an old pair of jeans
Slowly, I opened my suitcase
Reached for a diary
To meet my family.
A dried red rose
And a black and white picture
In page number twenty
Jogged my sleepy memory
Of a joyful laughter
Over a fine Sunday dinner
While adults whined about their lives
Gulping their angst with red wines
We, cousins, gathered in dark corners
To whisper secrets into each other
Giggling and flushing, we took turns narrating
One talked about how a boy made her day
Other recited a tale of heartbreak
Another boasted of dating the beauty queen
I too flashed a red rose from my first kiss
Suddenly, our marbles slipped from our pockets
The red, blue, and yellow shiny balls
Bouncing off the peeling wood floor
Raced ahead to tickle big bare bones
Of feet dangling from chairs
Of bodies swinging from side to side
“You little ras…cals, go out and playy.”
Devil surfaced in our parents’ red eyes
Tonight, goodness in them all seemed like lies.
We ran outside to make more merry
Thump! We sat down on a sloping mount
One, two, three…our marbles we began to count
But, cobblestones were not gleaming, but wet
Stone steps, broken in many places
Shouting in amusement as we fell down
Our shiny marbles came tumbling right after us.
When a serving of happiness
Was a part of every dinner
Heart was satiated
And soul was hungry no more.
Those were the glorious days at Granny’s
Wrapped up in love and warmth in Darjeeling.
My little home
Upon the white mountain
Still makes my heart weak
Chocks my throat with happy memories.