Monday, 29 February 2016

Thinking of that old photograph

The photo’s on the same shelf, the two of us -
my hair thick and springy, my saree pleats mussed
by one dangling leg, much younger limbs draped
across the armrest,  lithe, lighter, well-shaped
body and spirit. My father on the chair,
wears his usual dignity and sparser hair.
Both of us unmindful, quite unaware
that it was the last time we’d get to share
a seat quite so closely, the last of times
when his chairs would feel so completely mine.
We use up things – arms, armrests, odd cushions
oblivious of the final occasions.
Someone clicks a photo by random chance,
it takes years to get its significance.

It's my father's 21st birthday today.  Wishing you happy, and tranquil times ahead, Baba.


  1. Happy Birthday to your Baba, Nila! What a beautiful poem to mark the occasion. Who really understands what goes into the making of a photograph except those within the frame. I love: 'We use up things – arms, armrests, odd cushions
    oblivious of the final occasions.'

    I can see it.

    Have a great week, Nila!

    Denise :-)

    1. Thank you, Denise! So true what you say about photos - only the people in the frame and perhaps the photographer knows.

      You have a great week, too. :)

  2. A very Happy 21st to your Baba.
    And thank you for this thought provoking reminder elegantly dressed in a poem.

    1. Thanks for your wishes, EC! Mindfulness does increase with age, but not at the rate required, or when required...

  3. Ummmm your father is 21? Anyway the poem was quite thought provoking and the imagery really emphasized the significance of every moment we have with loved ones.

    1. No, he's actually way older than that :) but we don't get to celebrate his birthday every year. Glad you liked the poem.

  4. A moment captured in time can say so much. Both sweet and bittersweet. Happy birthday to your father.

    1. Thank you. As my loved ones get older, more and more sweet becomes bittersweet.

  5. Hi Nila - yes a happy leaping birthday for your father ... it'd be fun to sit on big pluffy cushions with my father and natter happily for one more day - not to be ... but those days sadly are long gone ...

    Wonderful memories for you - cheers Hilary

    1. Yes, they end too soon...the days of happy nattering... thanks for your wishes.