The car sped
Through the concrete by-lanes.
My head hung low upon the side window
Soaking in the familiar breeze
Which gushed like spirited stream
Across the city.
Yes, I was back.
To my haven.
Not even once did I dare
To take my eyes off the view.
At the back of my mind
The cassette of my childhood archives
Started rolling simultaneously.
I wanted to test my memories.
Wanted to see how true was I to them.
Yes, I remembered this char rasta
And the statue of a local freedom fighter in the middle.
Over there, in that extension,
There was a small bungalow
And a huge wooden swing in the garden.
Everyday, exactly at two in the afternoon,
When I returned back from my school,
A girl would be there at the swing.
It didn’t matter
Whether it rained or shined.
She would be there
To the the creaking sounds of the iron rods.
This sudden remembrance
Made me look at my watch.
It was two.
The car turned took a sharp turn at the carfax.
The statue was missing.
Instead, a poster of a flopped celebrity stood glaring.
It was baffling.
Am I at the right place?
Is this my home?
Amidst all the mental chaos
I kept staring ahead
For my desperation was killing me.
One glimpse of the swing
And if fortunate, the owner’s too.
A colossal building met my eyes.
There was no bungalow.
And no swing.
I pulled over the glass shield and sat back
Commanding my mind to destroy every single emotion
That I felt in the past few seconds.
I soon realised
I had stopped breathing.
Reluctantly, I opened the shield again
And bored myself with the fake makeover of the city.
Everything had changed.
Except the breeze.
It was the same, old breeze.
It whispered into my ears,
‘You have been away for quite a long.
Times have changed.
And people too.
Don’t come back here again.
It will hurt.
She was hurt too. So, she left.’
How did the breeze know
That my comeback was a pretentious attempt
To seek answers to my questions.
To resolve my unsettled feelings.
To see her.
But it knew everything.
Soon, the breeze felt silent
And I, along with sun, sank into nothingness.
Will I ever come back again?