You will look back to wonder if it was
Just a stone house amidst a grove of oaks:
The winding roads rich with stinging nettles,
And pavements thick with leech-infested grass
Leading to our playgrounds, the bajree fields!
To sleep in cold beds on those winter nights,
Having fed on bread and grease laden mutton,
To wonder if this was some exercise
To toughen us, or if it was life denied,
Under the pretence of shadowy rules!
But it was also the place you fell in love
With the beautiful rain, and its soft cadence,
The sudden rise in tempo, the slow relapse
On the strong stone walls and the red tin roof;
And to birds singing in the dark, before dawn;
And outside, beyond those wide glass windows
Your first fling with the lovely shade of grey…
(Though like all love stories, you didn’t know it then)…
A river of silver mist, constant, flowing,
And the shadowy shapes of the forbidding oaks.
Joy becomes a habit for those who love
The quiet mountains and the patter of rains;
So we, who have lain side-by-side in the grass,
Have grown up together, knowing what it was
To look up at the silence of the stars;
The blood we spilled is a part forever
Of that one place where we will always be kids.
Those who passed that way with us, fought with us,
More brothers than friends, have stayed in our heart,
(As will the ladies, but that’s another thing!).
We were cast out into the great wide world
As acorns, to find our place among the trees;
Well, today, oaks are blooming in the yards
In thousands of towns, a spring wind blowing:
There is a forest in our hearts. All is well.
– Diptesh Ghosh (1992)
This poem was shared by Diptesh Ghosh on email, dated September 2010 (visiting OG after 18 years with two class mates).