Father

Writing something about you is like
Trying to make a swim through a sea,
Through wave after waves of memories,
The first distinct smell of you
Had the that peculiar mix of tobacco and shaving cream,
The first distinct touch of you had been to feel your palms a bit roughened,
And to feel how those lines on them had withered the ups and downs of time-
Partition, independence, state of political instability, carnage , emergency, flood of seventy eight , hartals, strikes, lockouts, bandhs,

Then your smile , never too loud,
Just a sweet candid one, 
And your angst - silence spreading over clouds of even more silence,

Your writing hand curved and sparkling
Your fountain pen dipped in ink - your poems and stories, your sessions of debates and discussions , Marx , Lenin, Engels, Tagore, Vivekananda, Aurobindu- all turning like lively figures standing before us as if saying their words,

Your recitation of poems ,
your acting at amateur theatre- glittering dresses, swords of tin,

And then ' Krishanu' and literary adda over cups of tea,
Mail posts arriving with your name printed  all the way from foreign shores,

You teaching me cycling one spring day
You cooking special dishes,
you drawing a beautiful sketch of a train passing through the curves of hills,
You taking us to evening show of a flick - shown for charity -  A Satyajit Ray masterpiece- an adaptation of Ibsen ,

Now as time has moved with its winged gait,
And as age has come and sat like a philosopher queen
Just betwixt us ,

How I just think of you
As a tree old
With stories written on its bark.

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