When all it took to shield the sun was a thumb,
And there was no one, who, to your whims wouldn’t succumb,
When your smile was all it took, those angry faces to mend,
To such a life, you never knew there could be an end.

Those smirking behind those smiles, you never could comprehend,
Their anxiety at your growth, they never could apprehend,
As if rendered helpless, the Gods above, did never descend,
When the dreaded time came, your innocence, to defend.

Left by itself, it has the inevitable reality to fend,
And the knowledge, about new feelings you could offend,
Alas! If growth were not such a sordid compromise,
Every single child would love to be called wise.

For wisdom is a mere awakening to reality,
One where actions are but reactions to necessity,
Where thoughts are constricted by walls of possibility,
And the mind is confined into shackles of social nobility.

Where are those days, when sunshine meant playtime,
And the slightest pangs of hunger signalled lunchtime,
When money was a problem, never on your corner,
And never gave a thought to love or a life partner.

When the only tasks of the day, were fun and frolic,
And the thing you least cared about, was logic,
When there were caring fairies and guardian angels around,
And a big good God above, who made the world go round.

It is sad, maybe, that children cannot pinch themselves awake,
For they are the only ones, who can live, awake in a dream,
And to grow up, are willing, that very childhood to stake,
Only to realise, they are awake, but no longer in a dream.

Finally back after about a month criss-crossing South India, and the first thing I happen to come across, is a post by Aparna on fairytales and how she seemed to get more practical about them after once firmly living them. It struck me about how little children always want to grow up and when they do, they find ‘the grass on the other side was always greener’, and quite a lot of them who find idle time all through adulthood, sit back and get thinking of what we wouldn’t sacrifice to spend a day, an hour or even a few minutes as those children we knew ourselves to be. The irony being, that a few years ago, we just couldn’t wait to grow up and do all those ‘important things’ that grownups did. This one is dedicated to you-know-who(for those who came in late that meant Aparna) who managed to get me into another bout of ‘manic depressive longing’ for those ‘good old days’.


When the sun went down on another day,
And denizens of this planet went their way,
You wished for a moment you could idly stay,
And try listening to what the stars say.

They talked of your struggles, in the midst of the fray,
Yet, suddenly, way out of context they did stray,
About to vent your anger on those dots on grey,
You spotted the distraction to which they fell prey.

There in the distance it glittered, unlike any gold,
You ventured near them to confirm, ever so bold,
And found them to be row upon row of sparkling white,
Between parted lips whose laughter filled that night.

She stared at you, turned around and nimbly ran,
And that was the moment this story really began,
You called after her, ran after her, to no avail,
For she was like a boat that had already set sail.

Dejected, you turned back after a while,
And tried to recollect what remained of her smile,
Surprisingly your mind couldn’t steer clear,
Of that face, one that knew no tear.

You closed your eyes and pictured her walking back to you,
Looking at you like you were somebody she knew,
You began to think, if there was anything you could ask of her,
Things she could dispense with, and never again bother.

Even before you could ask, she handed it to you,
Her possession, one that forever seems new,
Giving it away, she still had a million more to give,
Having already helped a thousand others to relive.

It hit you so hard, that it threw you off your feet,
And it was some time before her eyes you could meet,
Yet, you felt not even the slightest hint of the blow,
Such is the way that her happiness does flow.

She filled your life with a joy you never before knew,
And at the end of it, everything around seemed new,
It flooded your heart, to way beyond its size,
It widened your lips, and twinkled through your eyes.

Blinking in surprise, she was gone in that while,
As you look at her slowly retreating profile,
You wonder if all she gave you was a smile,
One that you carried to that journey’s last mile.

At the end of the road, there was still a lot of it to spare,
You wished you could stand and watch others without it fare,
For a heart, that neither fear nor death could destroy,
She was able to fill, thrill and kill with her joy.

Yet another one on Aparna, although this one is way out abstract and dramatic. I was attracted by the prospect of turning the term ‘killjoy’ into an oxymoron, and of course here was a willing subject, somebody who could ‘kill’ with their joy, and maybe bring back to life, with their joy. So I set about trying to spin that into a tale of a guy(a close friend) who happened to get that smile from her on a journey called life. This seems to be getting weirder by the moment, so I will just conclude by saying “she did it”, like a magnet she managed to pull me back within a month. So I have to I guess start a whole section for her from this poem onwards.

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