Theme: Memories

The House at 7 Mayo Road

7 MAYO.jpg

The house where I was born
Has been demolished
Stone by stone,
Brick by brick.
I saw the portico go,
Then the rooms where we slept and studied
The kitchen and the toilets were last to go.
The Remington ceiling fans
That whirred like dragons
On hot summer afternoons
Lay on the dusty footpath
Like WW 2 causalities,
The invincible wrought iron gate
Was unhinged never to creak again,
The 90-feet wooden beams from the ceiling
Lay in a crumpled heap with the tarpaulin.
They said it was part of a court injunction
That nobody could overrule,
The honorable judge had said
The house was beyond economic repair
And was too dangerous to live in
Who could argue in the face of the law,
For years I watched the empty plot of land
Where nothing came up
Except the cattle roamed, the swine strayed
The goats munched on the grass
Occasionally children from the sagarpesha played,
The mango, guava, mausli and jungle jalebi trees
Were all cut down to give the land some character
The colonial vestiges were all trimmed
The Morris Minor was sold to the kabari,
Nankoo’s kabarkhana was relocated near Katra crossing.

Most of my upbringing was knocked down
But there is nothing to feel poignant about,
On fine morning when the temperature is right
And the sun slants at an appropriate angle
The dream house rises again
In all its pulchritude,
White-washed, painted and varnished,
With mangos ripening to the cuckoos call,
Fighter kites slicing the sky
Above the monkey-pod tree,
And wood apples falling with a thump
In the swindling afternoon wind,
Memories float olfactory and tactile
Shadows race ruthlessly around the house
During holidays and missed classes
And all the trespasses return once again.

Image © Mukesh Williams


More By  :  Mukesh Williams

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