Saturday, March 12, 2011

The phrase

I still remember how your school tie was always askew,
how we both had the same stickers on our maths notes,
uncle scrooge winking out of a mound of gold,
and how you gave me three toffees on your birthday
when it was only one for everyone else.

I hate you, I said one afternoon,
and you thrust the torn page into my hands,
took your schoolbag and left the classroom.

You didn't come to school the week after that
and the teacher told us the bank promoted your father
to a distant town, to a distant state.

Seventeen years since,
I've not repeated that phrase to anybody
dealing only occasionally in the tangles of its converse.

Time carved in me a regret for you that life slowly eroded,
for many loves came and went, but you lingered, on the other side.
They say hate is an ugly business for a nine year old,
but it's only until he grows up and finds love uglier.

And on cold evenings when love wheedles the life out of me,
leaving me nowhere to go, I return to that long lost afternoon,
to the flimsy emotion of my torn comic book page,
to the curious comfort of my boyhood resentment,
clinging to it the way a drunk does to a lamppost in a dark street,
not for the light it so readily proffers but
for its gentle generosity in letting him stay on his feet.

Perhaps life has since afforded you kinder friends,
boy whose tie was always askew,
I truly wish you the utterly greatest of life's gifts, its love,
and only hope you condone this flawed passion of mine,
the warmhearted wrath of a schoolboy's hate.


Basanth said...

Its so full of warmth for that school friend of yours... its wonderfully worded... and a delicious treat for the readers. Je suis reconnaissant :)

aminura ytrobarkahc said...

Very heart-searing, it is.

Anonymous said...

Aditya YVS

Anwesa said...

Beautiful ! This made me nostalgic.

yerram said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Veerendra S said...

Really heart-searing... Well crafted Dheeraj, as always...

- Veerendra S.