Ajay...

Getting down from the car,
When first looked around, near and far,
The blue hills, the clouds,
The vegetation, the grassy mound,
I could not believe
I had been once around,
To the same place...
'It got so much changed!'
I exclaimed,

'Have you come here?
Earlier?'
Someone asked,
From that little hut,
The door was open,
At the verandah there were pots of flowers,
And there the owner
Of the voice stood, apparent,

'Yes...long time ago...'

'How many?'

'Hmm...twelve years, perhaps...
And then, there were no such huts,
No sights of habitation,
Only there were greenery around,
And a few tents...'
I reminiscenced,

'And?'

'And...there was someone...
A lad, who used to play guitar,
Late in the evening,
He would sing,
Bob Marley...
Where had he gone?'

Asked her,
Feeling alone
Not lonely though,
For blue hills and white clouds
Were still there,
Shining by the light of the day,
And not faraway,
Just behind the mound of grass,
The Memorial Rock,
Stood, silent,

'Ajay?
Are you talking of him?'

'Yes! Yes!
Ajay was his name...'
I nodded, excited,
'Where is he nowadays?'

'He had gone...'
She said,
And went indoors...

'Hey! Wait!
Where is Ajay?'

I asked again,
She did not answer immediate,
She stopped,
And turned her head,
Towards the memorial...

Behind the mound of grass,
It was there, venerable,

'You will find him there,
Inscribed...
Five years back,
He was shot at,
At the border,
Friendly fires...
That did him...'

She said,
Before she turned to the door,
Again,

'Who are you by the way?'
Asked her,

'Me?'
She smiled, vague,

'No one...
But,
I have his name,
Right here...'
She placed her left hand on her bosom,
Candid, bold,
Her nosetip,
It appeared reddened, cold,

The blue hills
Were getting covered
by clouds,
Or were they? Really?

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