Upon a revisit,

'You can go there and have a look around'
Pratap Singh said,
He was sitting at the driver's seat of his jeep,
I said,
And as Pratap drove away
Leaving me at the gate of the cottage,
I started walking,
The dying light of the day
Was leaving feathered forms
Over the path,
The greenery around was invigorating,
And the silence was deafening;

Taking a long breath
I looked around,
And remembered my last visit
To the place,

'There was no dearth of fresh air then also
But the cottage was not double storied...'
I wondered,

'These wooden benches...they were not there...
But there was solitude
As vast as ...
The painting of Van Gogh
Depicting a starry night '
Thought I,

Then I sat,
On one of those benches,
Putting an arm over the back rest,

'How beautiful is the moment
When the day
Hangs up its busy feet
And the indolent evening
Wraps one with nothingness...'
I wondered,

Sitting there on the bench
I tried to gather the enbalming kindness
Of Nature as emancipated in varied forms-
The foliage, the sky...
Sitting there I tried to understand
That force, that tumult, that spirit
Which had caused everything to happen,

The more I thought
The more I was filled with a sense of wonderment,
And that sense of wonderment
Seemed to me inexpressible,
Absolutely inexpressible,

'Still sitting here?'
I heard Pratap

'When you have come back?'
I asked,
'Some ten or fifteen minutes ago...come , let's have our dinner...'
Pratap said,

Post dinner, Pratap lit up his customary cheroot,
And as he left miniature cloudy forms,
I sang...
'Starry starry night...'

Pratap nodded, closing his eyes, relishing the song
And I sang releasing myself...
I sang as I wanted to be part of the beautiful night,
I sang because I probably wanted to make the night beautiful,

And Pratap just smoked and listened,
For he wanted to be my listener,

Last time when I came to the place
The cottage was just the same,
It was not double storied though
And Pratap Singh was younger then,
And I too had that youthful hue,

Then, too, we had our post dinner sessions
Of songs and conversations,
And then too, those late evenings
Had that agelessness.


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