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Theme: Memories Share This Page
The Last Trip
by Kumud Biswas
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  (For Gouri)

I had reached the terminal building
At the very last moment
All the passengers of my flight
Had already boarded the 'plane
The departure lounge was almost empty
Save some idling passengers
Waiting for their flight.

Emplaned, as I rushed through the aisle
To take my seat at the rear
I heard someone shouting
'Hey, you there!'
It was a cry of joy
A shout of recognition.
With hardly any time to stand and stare
And least expecting to meet
Any long lost acquaintance there
I pushed on
But the shout came again
This time more shrill and louder,
'Can't you see, it's Gouri here?'

It was Gouri indeed,
But what a change was there!
I retraced my steps
Long thirty years
The Charleville nestled
On the Mussouri hills
Hundred odd souls
In their shining youth
Yet to enter the arena
Of struggling and jostling life
Immersed in their dreams,
Not a care in the world
Sharing an existence
Free from the coming race
Which won't perhaps be fair always;
Overconfident Ashok
Making amorous advances,
And mischievous Amit
Trying to tease,
But Champak,
As one who had won the world,
Looking on in immense unconcern;
Pradip, serious always as he is,
Planning to do his best
For his country and his people;
The last - by no means the least -
The rustic fool, like a fish out of water
Breathing hard in an enclosed world
Pining for open air,
A boundless sky,
The fields full of green
And the rivers flowing free
Dreaming of a lassie somewhere
Finally to make his dreams come true.

We all had our dreams
And by now we know
How much of it has come true.
Chasing a mirage
With a gambler's zest
Did we have time to look at our selves
Do we know we have travelled
What long ways?
All these I find, Gouri,
Now mirrored in your face.
--------------------------------
*Delhi-Calcutta Flight no.IC-202, 14th May, 2003

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September 05, 2004
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