They met by rushing coolies and tea stalls.
Two ordinary men grown grey with old age:
Stained shirts yellow with sweat and wrinkles,
That spoke of lives speeding like express trains.
They stood in the overcrowded platform
As the steam engine whistled impatiently.
I do not know how many years had passed
Since their last meeting but no words were needed.
Tears streamed from their eyes as they laughed
Like two boys, calling each other the names
Even they had forgotten ever existed.
Two grown men laughing and crying together.
I could see their backs straighten and frowns melt.
They were back in the forgotten country,
Talking a language they’d kept locked in their minds.
For a few moments the long wasted years
Lay behind them and they were once again
The pranksters and the world conquerors to be.
They stood giggling as the old train waited
To take them back on their time-worn journeys.
– Diptesh Ghosh (1992)
This poem was shared by Diptesh Ghosh on email, dated March 2014 (After meeting an old friend who I had not seen for almost 25 years, post school)