Ruins

Ruins

3 mins 377 3 mins 377

Walking back from the temple …

Carrying a heart…

Filled with hopes and promises…

With the soothing morning breeze …

A companion… to me and Dad…

Matching his footsteps with us…

As we trod down, that familial steep road…

While my hands, clasped tight to my father’s secure fingers…

I could see his face…

Blessed with content…

Which radiated through me too…

Spreading a happiness that we both shared…

‘Cause we knew …

We were here… at home…

Far from the chaos of our metropolitan life…

Yes! We were here… where our heart…

Had built its abode…


As we turned left…

In to a narrow–minded walled lane…

Of moss covered laterite blocks…

I could see all those glimpses of childhood…

Rushing forth… to welcome me…

The aroma of the damp soil…

The swaying fronds of the coconut palms…

The stinging, yet cherished pain,

Those edged stones left on my bare foot…

The innocent charm of the wild flowers…

The lingering ripe smell of a pineapple crouched somewhere…

And whooshing sounds of plantain chips…

Fried fresh… filling my ears on the other…


And now I could see it…

My longing eyes darting further…

Than my heavy-paced steps…

The battered roof that gave-

A statement of age…

Caved inwards from one side …

The cracks that bore themselves deeper…

In to the walls…

Pronounced… Just like the nostalgia with us…

The house… Our house…

That lay buried in the many layers of dust…

And the nuances of revived memories…

A territory, which was now, out of bounds for us…

And Desolation- its rightful ‘owner’…

No longer were the magnanimous Deodars…

Standing tall… To welcome me…


Instead I found myself, grieving…

At the chopped limbs of my faithful comrades…

The garden that thrived cheerfully…

In the caring hands of my Grandpa…

Was now a graveyard…

For the dry twigs, weeds and mangled stalks…

My favourite swing- The sturdy bark of a coconut frond…

Was stashed away, ropes-bereft…

Among the wild thickets in the corner,

to the right…

My prompt feet carried me to the background…

In the hope that it, at least,

Wouldn’t have changed…


The vast space of that ravished land…

Was being hammered on me…

As if each painful striking blow…

Was a reminder…

Of every single palm and plantain…

And the trees of mango, cashews and pepper…

On whose laps we were cradled…


The chikoos that grew right in front,

Which all of us cousins would relish with glee…

The tender branches of the cashew tree…

Where we’d chatter away and swing…

The well, its waters…

Cold and sprinkling…

That blessed our morning showers…

Was now a doused sepulchre…

For the fallen leaves and insects…


I felt my hand tighten…

From my Dad’s perturbed grasp…

May be he was reliving his childhood too…

And I knew I was right, when I saw…

His eyes were unresponsive…

His breathing, frantic…

I also knew that he was,

Holding on to each and every end…

Of the broken strings…

Shattered memories of the days gone by…

Clutching all those broken pieces…

Close to his heart…

Helplessness that seemed, to wade through pointlessly…\Along with the ebbing pain…

That is when I turned to him and said –

“Perhaps the greatest misery, Dad…

Is becoming a stranger,

In the Land of our Own…”


Rate this content
Log in