FOR YOU, RADHA:SOMNATH BATABYAL
We were young then, Radha,
Your face leaping out of a snapshot
reminded me of our youth
and unfinished dreams.
Your eyes, the flash of Italy
A bygone century.
How could I put them in words?
And so I chose to stay silent.
But in silence there is no escape.
Words raged by, arranging
and rearranging themselves.
Then the storm subsided
and things took shape,
I was surprised,
it was your face.
A face I had known so intimately,
its contours shaped by fingers-
strange, today we meet in a poem.
So, how do you do?
Has life treated you well
or like me, perhaps
taken you through its ups and downs,
sometimes through hell.
Your dreams, are they all
hale and hearty?
The school for street children-
Perhaps you are yet to find a place.
As for me, I carry on,
trying to keep the promises I made,
And a part of it is today, fulfilled
in this poem that you read.