Monday, 14 December 2015

For a school friend

Someone asks what’s on my mind, and I pause
for a second, because I can’t recall
the exact details, which class we met, what was
the surname, how many siblings in all.

But clear three shaky lines drawn with charcoal
topped with squiggly dashes to make the stumps -
the pretend-wickets dropped on that low wall,
the games of make-believe, the fights, the thumbs

clicked against teeth, the k-word, the huge lump-
in-throat walk home alone. The making-up
next morning without adult fuss, the sum
of long-lost friendship, easy childhood love.

Someone asks me what; I pause a sec and say,
“Nothing. Just an old friend. His birthday today.”

I am travelling and will catch up with you when I get back.  Meanwhile, wish you all the joys of the season, and a very happy, peaceful and fun 2016.


  1. Hi Nila - yes I remember old friend's birthdays and wonder where they're at. Have a lovely time with family and friends ... and then here's to a great 2016 - cheers Hilary

  2. Your words never fail to delight me. The lines were poignant enough to take me back to my school days.

  3. Nice! You can't put those memories into words when someone asks anyway.
    Safe travels, Nilanjana.

  4. Safe travels Nila! Poignant thoughts of the past well put. :)

  5. Three stumps in chalk is as real as it gets. At school and at the bus stop we played hand cricket or rounders with a tennis ball.
    It continued into office days except that we became a little polished. We used a Gateway Roll for the bat :)