In memory of my dear friend Jayanthi
We climbed the dusty red, slipping, pulling
Into the hazy cracks, just as we did
When you were six. You won then,
You had said.
Children painted and drew,
No one saw us go, looking down you
Smiled, pretended to slide, come through the gap
Be on my side.
The music had stopped, all looked to leave
“Who spoke to me?” a voice rough and coarse leaped
Then continued, “I want to know…” “It is me…”
The answer was lost, suddenly.
The maid had begun
To serve the tea, sister-in-law too returned
With dresses Indian, bought just then
And for the keep.
As the voice’s fingers fumbled on way to her mouth
That would break into a smile anyhow
The sun sank, changing the hues
Inside the room.
The ashes lay boxed when I returned
The sun seemed to take time
And the incense too stayed
Longer than we could fathom,
Straight ahead from where we sat
Through the glass on a day
Of goodbyes to unfolding of a life
I could find, you once again.
This is the place where the stairs
Do not reach.
This is the place from my dreams,
And this is the place which is silent today.