Lost World

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I’m drawn to my balcony
By the tenuous pittering
Of unseasonal rain
On a neighbouring tin roof.

Something calls from within –
A ghost of days gone by.
It begs me to surrender
And follow it to a place
I knew once;
Loved once.

I hesitate; my world beckons.
But memories are sometimes
More tenacious than life itself,
And I’m already in their thrall.

And just as the dark engulfs,
My mind comes alive
As if I’m awakened
To a different world.

I see a dewdrop
Frozen in that moment
When it hangs on the edge of a leaf;
Awaiting release.

Its journey to its fall takes my gaze further down,
Down to the slippery bed of fallen pines,
Where my soles welcome
The cool of the damp earth,
And the playful bite
Of stones and pine-cones.

A zephyr caresses my unbridled hair,
It stirs a familiar fragrance,
Familiar memories too –
Sweet petrichor mixed,
With a whiff of early rot,
And that ever-present woody-tang
Of pine oil.

This smell,
This smell that to me is more precious,
Headier than the rarest of attars,
It evokes memories of an age
When scaling these mountains, or wooden giants,
Or falling therefrom,
In the spring of my life
And in the youth of the year,
Was no matter at all.

Somewhere I hear
The burble of a glib brook,
Running down moss-kissed stones.
Somewhere o’er my head
The sun splays its warm fingers
On milky mountain tops.

And the pines,
Those magnificent sentinels of the forest.
Respond by shedding their grey cloaks
And revelling in verdant greens.

I run after the sunlight cascading down to the valley.
The ferns beneath me paint my feet white;
Marking me, ‘turning’ me.
I am a wood-sprite!

They whisper secrets to me of the forest.
One clump hides a bear’s cave.
Oh, and there hides a foxhole.
I stop and turn to stare at an army of ants,
Tramping ceaselessly o’er
Remains of a once mighty predator.

That caterpillar maybe small,
But it’s will is not.
It crawls to the fallen fruit over yonder,
And I reflect in awe.

The forest is alive now with sounds;
Symphonies of a forgotten realm,
Where the coos of doves, the croaks of frogs,
Even the seemingly mindless
Chitter of sparrows,
Unite to enthral.

To think I come from this
But don’t belong to it!
Why are we alien to this?
Why are we unknown to it?

A phone rings,
Something snaps within.
My eyes fly open,
And in a tick of time,
That world is lost.

This happened to me, well not exactly, when it rained here last night. I took my daughter out to the balcony for her to feel the wind and the rain, while I breathed in the air that had the whiff of a time long gone, but cherished, in my life. When I was a student, on nights like these, me and my room-mates would take strolls on streets, mindless of the rain or of the cold. Sitting under the stars and sharing half-cooked instant noodles, or tales, or even taking jibes at each other was the norm. No more.

Tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis.

Times change, and we change with them.


Copyright ยฉ2017 Pradita Kapahi.

All rights reserved.

Images: Pexels at Pixabay.

27 thoughts on “Lost World

  1. Its too long.. and too good.
    Still I like the rain. During full monsoon season, I never took out my raincoat from wardrobe. Even, in rain I use to go to home by walk from our drop point of staff bus.
    But, rain never give us ( me and my wife ) chance to roam in heavy rain. From the day of our engagement, when we step out and took a bike to go on long drive, in few minutes, it stops.
    I know, its been too lang, but that’s it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG first of all itti lambi poem kaun likhta Hai bhyi ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚
    Haan kbhi kbhi mind m thoughts darkness wale ate Hai , mujhe dreams bhi ate Hai kbhi kbhi aise ki sb kuch ujad gya aas pass kuch nhi Hai aur PTA Ni Kya Kya .
    And congratulations 1st rank on Indi woo

    Liked by 1 person

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