Always on the road his son was. The road; Which lay outside the village Like a thick black serpent. A serpent that everyday devoured some young man from the village And spat him out In the cauldron of the nearby town. Today, the old man is happy. His son is back home, Here to stay for a few days. After many years, Not in a hurry to jump into his truck And head back to the town With the advent of dawn. Today the child too is happy. He wants to sit at his father’s feet And talk, Just like those days of old When he, a toddler, lay with him at night And listened to tales of kings, queens, princes and princesses, Of Sindabad the sailor, Aladdin and his magic lamp And of the heroes of their clan. Today, they sat down once again. The stars which had in the past Always given them company, Above the terrace of their house Had been blocked. The village had hastily grown; The town had come riding the snaky road And taken residence in the open spaces That the village had offered. Their little house no longer stood alone. It had metamorphosed Into a glitzy bazaar. Under the bright neon lights, With the lingering smells of the bazaar Hanging around them, Their conversation Ebbed and flowed, While the night outside, Moved on the road, on tip-toe.
Copyright @ Goutam Dutta