Theme: Understanding

Cambridge and Allahabad

And there it was
When I first saw it
From the airport limo
The scholastic town
Rising from the hallowed grounds
Into the prophetic sky
Of spires and
Pastoral afflatus.

Let me confess to you
I have always imagined it
The way it was,
The crisp cold air
Biting into my lungs
And the rising towers
Beckoning to me
On that English morning a bridled quiet
Escaped into the winding streets
Sucking out the travel hyper-action,
Then returned
To touch me once again
With contemplative graciousness
Amidst the bicycle
And the combustion engine.
It was no surprise that
A lot of Cambridge reminded me
Of old dilapidated Allahabad
The creepers, the rose bushes,
The winding ivy upon moss
And the granite forever young
With the rigors of centuries
Touching my nerve of familiarity.
They were all there
The graveyards,
Stone churches, libraries,
Omniscient déjà vu
As I stood there
In a nineteenth century
Emotional space
Imagining a lost empire.
You know,
That when I came back
To take a fresh look
At Rajapur Cemetery,
All Saints Cathedral, or
Alfred Park Library,
I understood
The colonial past better.


More By  :  Mukesh Williams

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