Over dinner at the restaurant, at its ‘Happy Hour’,
we were jubilant to say the least – on Margaritas:
At a price of two we got four – ordered four more,
yet cointreau, lime juice, Tequila – a perfect mix.
Dislodging slices of lemon, from the glasses rim –
tasting salt on it, we gently squeeze lime juice in:
ingredients shaken well with ice, tingles tongues
spiced up with prawns, lamb, also fish n chips.
Our conversation light with drizzles of sadness –
to thaw frozen hearts it takes not many cocktails:
Stirring your soul where the past is a hurricane –
like lava hurt melts overflowing a brim of reason.
Night after we return for the ‘Happy Hour’ bonus –
they run out of cointreau to our disenchantment,
but as wells of sadness haven’t yet exhausted,
to infuse in it joy we opt for eight Mojitos instead.
#worldpoetryday #poetry #love #sadness #happiness #margaritas #mojito #dinner #loveandlife
Through a slight drizzle
on the side panes
of a speeding taxi in black,
I saw you for the first time
my pretty lady in a sun hat:
Of you I had dreamt for long
from images formed in my mind,
out of the second-hand novels I’d read —
clutching which over my Indian heart
I fell asleep feverishly, every night.
Tall over the sidewalks
you seductively strolled along —
the soft sun bouncing off
fresh flowers you hold on wooden posts:
As if it’s your slender, elegant frame
hoisting a classic basket hat.
You carried the enchanting fragrant beauty
of a summer garden of violet and thyme —
dancing lithely in the cool breeze
fresh and sublime.
It was through sparse early evening traffic
from Heathrow airport, one late June:
I first glanced upon you awestruck
my lady — London, the city of my dreams.
Then in a week, I was besotted by your charm —
you’re prettier than images I’d conjured
for years in my abject poverty lying awake
wrapped in your elegant arms:
dreaming of visiting you fervently
when someday I had money saved up.
The Indian cab driver cheerily pointed
sights en route to King’s Cross —
where I’d reserved a week’s Bed & Breakfast
across the road from the tube station:
also by bus or foot to easily get around.
I took a tube to the London Eye —
to get an eyeful aerial view,
a boat below the Bridge to the Towers, Greenwich.
Atop a Hop-On Hoff-Off Bus I rode daylong:
lustily stripping you my lady — on the catwalk.
Till Love Do Us Apart.
One evening, a few years back, over coffee with a friend at a resto-cafe, he soulfully narrated to me the story of the opposition to his current romantic liaison. He had lost his wife – a decade younger than him, after a prolonged battle with Cancer, a couple of years back. Now the strong resistance to his desire to marry again, to be happy and live a full life, ironically came from his daughter. She lived in London since the last decade, along with her British husband. And was an ex-journalist having worked long in Delhi where the family lived and is currently a publishing professional. His son was married and lived away with his wife and children in Calcutta.
My friend, Mr. Boruah, was about 75 years, at the time of this conversation. A rather successful businessman at one time, he now lived a retired and quiet life, though as fit and handsome as a man of 60 might be. He still played Golf regularly at his club, in spite of a weakening elbow. And had his daily measure of the best Scotch whisky before dinner, and as much as was possible, tried to fill his life with intellectually gregarious and artistic company.
I had first met Mr. Boruah in an official capacity in Calcutta, and we had become friends over varied interactions. I tend to strike friendships easily with men and women, decades older than I am, as I can relate to them just as well as I do with those my age or younger. This is perhaps because I find mutual respect and admiration the necessary requisite to any relationship. And I find that people who are much older are usually more respectful in friendships, as they are confident of who they are, of their views and opinions, and their place in the world. Personal and professional insecurity, jealousy, aggressive and rude condescension resulting from the two, in my view, is the most effective deterrents to friendship. I like to respect people for whom and what they are irrespective of success or failure, rich or poor and am rarely judgemental, but above that I value my self-respect.
Over our second cup of coffee, his with ‘Sugar free’ from being diabetic, Mr Boruah went on to share with me the details of the cause of his sad and forlorn look, on my prodding him on it: There was a young woman, about his daughter’s age, Mr. Boruah had known during his earlier working years, who was much in love with him since long. He had been friends with her but did not take her romantic gestures seriously before, in fact had been rather amused by it. But after his wife’s death, this woman who also knew his daughter well, had been pestering him to marry her. She was professionally successful, financially well off, and though over fourty years, had refused to marry anyone other than the man she loved – Mr Boruah. What did it matter if he was 75 years?
“So why don’t you marry her Mr. Boruah?” I blurted excitedly, rather pleased on his behalf, that he would have a companion in his sunset years, as I was rather fond of him.
“No, I can’t.” he replied stiffly.
“But why…why not?” I pestered him, and then smiling I added, “You’ll get a new lease of life…trust me! All those heart ailments you have, will be resolved…As you’ll have a new heart – won’t you?”
He could not but blush, as he replied – “I wish my daughter were as cool as you.”
“Ah! So it’s your daughter who has a problem, has she…Well, it is truly her problem not yours, Mr. Boruah” I replied stiffly. “She is happily far way and does not bother as to how you’re going to live alone here. Doesn’t she see and realise how lonely you are and how difficult it increasingly is for you to live by yourself, so what if you have a fleet of butlers and chauffeurs?”
“My daughter dislikes this woman and will not allow her to take her mother’s place, she argues.” Mr. Boruah stated emphatically. “Every time I’ve tried to broach the topic, of remarrying, she gets furious, and then won’t talk to me for months. Then even I don’t call and now our relationship is rather strained.”
“That’s rather selfish of your daughter Mr. Boruah, isn’t it?” I said firmly. “Do you want me to talk to her? I’m sure I can convince her, even though I don’t know her at all. She needs to understand that you are so lucky to find genuine love and another chance to live a wholesome life at your age. Why would she wish to steal your happiness from you? That too when she will not have you live with her in London, or come here and live with you.”
“I know, but who will explain all that to her…if you call she will be furious I even told anyone of this. What upsets me is this young lady – who just refuses to get married to anyone else but me. I’ve coaxed her for the last ten years, but she is just as adamant, as my daughter is against it, to only marry me or no one else.”
“If it’s your daughter’s insecurity and fear over this new woman’s claim to your money and properties, you could make a will, dividing everything between your daughter and son. This way she won’t have a problem with you marrying I hope.”
“My daughter knows well, that this woman is rather affluent herself, and she comes from an illustrious family.”
“Then it is sheer self-centeredness Mr. Boruah, on your daughter’s part.” I insisted.
Mr. Boruah remained silent, looking at his empty coffee cup for a while, then looking up he said sullenly, “I am so overwrought with agony from the strained relationship with my daughter. If it was only about me, I would never suggest getting married. But I do care about this young woman, who has sacrificed her own marital prospects only because of me.”
“You owe it to yourself Mr. Boruah, to be happy till the last moment of your life. More so, that God has given you a new lease of life.”
“I know. But God gives you with one hand, and takes away with another” he grinned.
“So ironic, you know, since my father’s passing away, I hoped my mother would meet someone, a friend, a companion.” I said thoughtfully. “But you’ve met her, what a difficult and stubborn woman she is…the very idea is beyond her comprehension. I’ve even considered various matches in my neighbourhood (I laughed)…but she will beat me with a broom and throw me out of the house for suggesting such a horrendous thing – she says.”
Mr. Boruah smiled, “Well, knowing your mother, it is quite expected, even though she is younger than me.”
“You see, Mr. Boruah, for all my broad mindedness about wishing my mother would remarry, I’d never allow anyone to take my father’s place – neither in my heart and life, nor do I wish to replace him in my mother’s life. I just wish upon her to have a friend, a companion, and lead a full life again. You know how in the last years of my father’s life, Ma was so focussed on his illness and seeing him through it, she had no friends or life of her own. She has no one, except for my sister and me, and ironically we live in other cities. I truly wish she was not alone. This is why I wish for her to have a man in her life…to be married perhaps.”
“My dear, how I wish my daughter would think like you” Mr Boruah said, as he patted my hand, then asked the waiter for the cheque. After the waiter left with the bill folder and we got up to leave he added sadly – “You see, for my daughter’s sake I can give anyone and anything up, as I will this woman for good…I mean, I must, part with a new love after all, for my daughter’s love. I owe it to her. My happiness is not more important than her happiness.”
The pictures are only for representation
It’s a pleasantly cool Calcutta evening
With the January sun on its way down:
Strums of a guitar I hear in the distance-
As rowed back into shore, I view boats.
I’m sitting by the banks of the Ganges
Watching the river serenely flow below:
The sun giving its ripples an orange glow
In slipping, plunging into their soft folds.
A quiet tranquil now envelops me snugly
In viewing for long, water’s serene flow;
Birds tired of chirping are rushing home
As lights illuminating the bridge turn on.
In shimmering water I now see your glow
As far notes of a guitar ushers you ashore:
Where I’m seated below the strand lights
As on a stage awaiting our roles to enfold.
The last act we played, it was on this shore
But feels like such a long, endless time ago,
As I sorely miss your wordless dialogues which
I’ve learnt, alone rehearsing both our roles.
In my starlit view you’re real, our opera’s true,
As the river – our audience in waves of delight
Squirms in the chilly breeze: even as I’m warmed
In the last scene – passionately embraced by you.
The Thorn In My Heart
There’s a thorn stuck in my heart,
It’s seeping my life’s blood away;
Yet I allow it inside of me to stay,
As pulling it out will augment pain.
With every breath, blood it splays,
Blinding me from my true vocation;
Yet I let the thorn inside me remain,
Till courage to pull it out I may gain.
Then one day you walk past again,
It’s destiny, only a glimpse we gain-
Of each other, as we strain in vain;
The thorn in my heart pricks again.
On purpose did you avoid my gaze?
Was it so your heart wouldn’t race?
From time we had with god’s grace:
Lost now to new lives with no trace?
I must pluck the thorn fast as I can,
Free my heart and mind over again;
I’d find a new love faster, wouldn’t I:
Only if I get rid of that thorn insane?
PS – This poem is inspired by the beautiful thought and the words above…I liked the idea so much, I mean – the kite string one, that I reread it several times…it resulted in these lines of my own, which also take into account the thoughts below 🙂