'The last time we came to the place
they with curd and pickles us served
at the end ,when we're about to close
our little talks with a lot of faith,'
Sweta while chewing a cardamom seed, said,

'The last time an afternoon it was
the road outside had fewer cars
and sitting beside the glass wall
we had had our moments just,'
Ornob recalled,somewhat lugubrious,

Tomorrow would be the end
of the vacation and they would be
to their own respective worlds sent,
Sweta would be busy with her works
And Ornob too would forget the talks,

'what would remain between us?'
Sweta suddenly asked
breaking the beauty of the pause
that kept the two in succulent thoughts,

'all these perhaps, like postcards,
or sildes neatly preserved,'
Ornob replied, fully convinced
of how memory works, what it stores,
what it connotes, what it means,

'ah! that's like we are then
two persons in a memory lane...'
Sweta heaved a half sigh
the other half not expressed,
Ornob just smiled, keeping things unsaid,

'you got nothing to say?
now that we would go each other's way
you would take the route to south
and I would to some western port go
where would I sit by that beautiful Seine
and throw the keys of our very own lane
into the water that bore all the pains
and happiness of people like us
who had spent nights by counting stars
and days who measured in dimes and farce?'
Sweta asked Ornob or was it really
for him to answer such a query?

Perhaps not, for Sweta looked at him
and asked if they could go a few yards, walking,

'The last walk together?' Ornob joked,

'no, for I am not that much haughty
like that mistress in that monologue'

'yes, and we are always in some sort
of a conversation, I mean, dialogue'

the two laughed as they started the walk,
it was invariably the full moon night,
late evening, the last week of a spring;

'how many years have passed
Sweta asked, 'since we've met?'

'since Seth wrote that Golden Gate?'
Ornob chuckled, smile on his lips
'you're such such....' Sweta fumbled for words,
'moron' 'that's the word for me to keep'
He added to make her more equipped,

She laughed heartily, 'as you yourself talked of Golden Gate,
I think you're very much like man in there, bred,
who swore by the Beatles and Pink Floyd
and noted how trees become in autumn void,'

'you make excellent observations
only that those are beyond my station,
now that we are walking the last of its kind
why not we say something more refined?'

'what tell me, are the refined things?
literary escapes or drinking binge?
what is that ,that can be called the best
who are the plebeians and who are the blessed?'

'tell me something about Seine
how it flows, in your veins?
what people do there on holidays?
do fishermen sail their boats like here on Ganges?'

'people sit on the benches there
and talk about Cognac and Baudelaire
and those who are too much of a believer
they throw silver keys right into the river,
and there is also a flea market near
people throng to buy cheap saucepans there
sometimes they buy hairpins too
with which they tie their lost billetdoux...'

'and what there do you care to do?'

'I just go there and sit with ease
and try to catch the ballads in the breeze
sung by urchins who collect coins in hats-
their tones running sharp and falling flat,
I listen to the stories as they sing
of maidens poor marrying kings
and of men dressed up like harlequins
creating comedy in postwar ruins...'

'what a way you pass your day
by the Seine as you please you may...'
Ornob said as they came to the point
from where they were to part their ways,

'see you' Sweta said before boarding a bus,
they were at the big terminus,
Ornob nodded and waved at her
and smiled thinking how soon
they would be away from each other,

'what would remain?' thought he
while the bus took Sweta away
just like another slide of a perfect memory.


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