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Butterflies and Birdsong

December 2, 2016

I often miss the comfort of being a child.

There was no scepticism, you see,

no shadows or suspicions or areas of grey,

none of the inveterate world-weariness

and eternal side-guessing inured to by adults.

Everything was so simple and conclusive

and the world was sharply defined:

black and white,

wrong and right,

dark and light.

There was magic to be found everywhere

in butterflies and birdsong, the smell of rain,

and the coolness of muddy water seeping into shoes …

And stack upon stack of now-defunct dreams

balanced haphazardly in towers that reached the sky.

 

The dream-towers have long crumbled now,

and I stopped picking through the rubble as I grew up.

There is no place for dreams here 

only for cold reality and conventions,    

the endless rat-race we run till we die,

and for one ugly truth after the other in this mindless clutter we call life.

Every day finds me a little more disenchanted than the last,

and I have forgotten the secret of free laughter.

 

But every now and then,

on butterfly-filled mornings

or grey-skied monsoon days,

when rain-kissed winds rap on window panes

and puddles made for jumping fill the streets,

I let my mind go back and revisit old haunts

in the hope of meeting the ghost of my childhood self.

 

 

I could relearn a thing or two from her you see,

like how to embrace each day and laugh without restraint;

how to rebuild dream-towers,                                                                      

to feel again the magic of mud puddles,

and take time to spot the infinitesimal miracles

in trivialities like butterflies and birdsong.

 

Back then it took so little to make me happy.

That is what I miss the most

the butterflies and the birdsong.

And being happy.

 


 

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