Crystal clean Rangeet meanders: below
the densely wooded Durpiney and Golfeka echoes
with the shrill of birds: above.
Playing in the watering hole,
watching in wonder the way
water fills my fresh footsteps,
my first school, the blackboard and my friends
O my childhood.
The brightly lit shops at Jorethang and Singla
with their colourful wares
was ever inviting to this little boy
and when mother collected oranges and chilies
in a large bamboo basket for the bazaar on Saturday
O how I wished there was a basket more
for to take me alone.
These were but wishful thinking
the reality was starkly different
the beautiful cherry blossom
brought with it the dreaded exams
I still remember the cane
my mother used to spank me with.
Basketful of provisions
that would last the whole week,
sweetmeats wrapped lovingly in her hanky just for me,
that would even tire a donkey
still with a song in their heart
O my mother and her friends.
How the days went by
playing with my friends
and how long it always took
for Dashera and Diwali to arrive.
Festivities always brought happiness and cheer,
those new clothes, the delicacies
O those times.
With the first drops of rains
thousands of winged termites fill the air
I can still recall the smell of the earth
the way we pranced about
and walked behind the oxen that ploughed the field
sowing the seeds
O my hopes and aspirations.
The whole village is splashed with the
colour of marigold and chrysanthemums
the orange trees bend low
with the oranges in them
the humming birds, woodpeckers
still sing relentlessly.
But the inevitable time has come
the time to say goodbye to my village
the time to chase my dreams.
The calloused hands rose in rebel
for a time more easier and better
yes now my life is easier but better it isn’t,
I may have won the battle
but I have lost the country.
When in every step I face an enemy
I recall the friends that I left behind,
I look like a freeman
but invisible chains bind me
O the chains of doubt and misery.