Meeting friends after the halfway years:
Some forced laughter among the real ones,
Smart wardrobes and sucked in bellies,
Us fighting again to make anew
The second of first impressions;
The daughters and sons look similar
To the old friends we knew long ago;
Invariably we will compare:
He has gained weight, she must work out,
They were always rolling in money.
The whisky can work miracles:
The talk veers to politics and jobs.
Now and then someone remembers
Past exploits, old loves, and friendships
And we pause to recall how things were;
The names and numbers are exchanged;
Only sometimes the grey mist rises:
I can see a girl in pony-tails
Like when I had given her my heart;
A chance phrase brings back a friend to me.
In the mirror I see a familiar boy
Shabby and unaware of the ways
Of the complicated world of men:
I am not worried for who he is now.
I’m distressed by what he will become.
One day this boy will walk into a room
Teeming with friends and loves, full of doubts;
I wish I could tell him what I know:
Familiar alleys will lead him home
He, who is now a stranger to himself;
– Diptesh Ghosh (1992)
This poem was shared by Diptesh Ghosh on email, dated November 2011 (after attending a School Reunion in Delhi)