That small town where Aniruddha once came and made home

'The town had remained as it had been...'
Aniruddha thought as he walked down the alley,
Shops had grown in numbers though, as it seemed,
And the spring had decked the outskirts,
With flowers blooming , kept in pots and pans,
Population had grown too a bit,
Aniruddha thought as he took the street,

'Curios? Want them Sir?'
Aniruddha heard local lads asking him,
'Leather jackets? At price rock bottom?'
He looked at those hanging garments some,
'No...' He replied and kept walking lazily,
A few paces away some urchins were playing with glee,
With a pup running in between their legs,
They looked at him, their curious tiny eyes upon him pegged,

'Hotel? Guesthouse? Warm water bath?'
Men like brokers him asked,
'No...' Aniruddha nodded both ways his head,
He was looking for a hut instead,

'Do anyone know Bahadur Singh?'
He asked, not really knowing
Where Bahadur had gone,
After so many years, alone, like a stray leaf,
Aniruddha heaved a sigh, deep,

Just then he heard someone saying,
'He could be found at the end of the alley...'
Hearing that Aniruddha turned to the direction without delaying,

And following instructions he arrived finally
At that hut , just behind the shop of aunt Sally,

It had remained as it is,
That same hut, that same small garden,
That acre of grass, that open verandah,
And that sight of gulmohor trees,
Two of them standing there like guards,
Tall and handsome and large,

'Bahadur , are you there?
Can you me hear?'
Aniruddha asked, standing before the two trees,
A mild soothing spring filled breeze,
Came to caress his hair, his face,
Aniruddha stood there , as he tried to trace
His words echoing in the faraway hills,

A man appeared soon, white hair, white beard, turban green,
That was surely that old Bahadur Singh,
'Can't recognise me? ' Aniruddha asked, the old pair of eyes blinked,

'Hey you, Ani babu? Here? '
The old man flashed a smile generous,
As Aniruddha noticed little drops of tears
In his eyes,

'How are you? Never thought to find you,
After so many years, see, I have kept my promise,
To come right here, once again, with spring extending its sweet lease...'
Aniruddha said,

Bahadur Singh ushered him in,
Into his hut, and gave him a welcome warm,
With hot soup and momos some,
And that chilli sauce and tomatoes sliced
Dipped in vinegar and bellpepper , diced,

After the meagre meal he took in,

The conversation between the two did begin,

They talked of being friends , separated by age and place,

They talked about how once they perils of the woodlands braced,

How they both worked for conservation

Of Mother Earth and rivers and animals,

Old Bahadur Singh, despite age, was still eager,

To work with Aniruddha with more vigour

To create a better surrounding there at that small town,

As the duo started to talk, time flew by ,

Gradually evening came, with darkness faintly lit

By candles, lamps and the clear Starry sky,

Aniruddha thought this time he would not go away,

He thought this time he would in that town stay

Till he would be able to open a school for those children parentless

And small hospital for those who starve most of days,

With Bahadur Singh, by his side, he could do anything,

Aniruddha thought, suddenly remembering,

How that man saved his life by fighting against a wild mountain bear black,

Which came down upon him, as once he hit that off the beaten track,

Into that woods not far away,

Aniruddha thought he could easily in the town stay

Till he would make that dream of his true,

The evening was getting chilly and blue,

Bahadur Singh had by then brought Ajay there,

He had started singing strumming his guitar,

Songs of Love and friendship and fun, 

Aniruddha thought he had another life begun.


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