In a cold winter’s evening with the fire burning bright;
My grandma’s eyes glowed like those embers in a charcoal fire;
We boys and girls would huddle around her in a circle tight;
Which tapered off towards the epicentre of warmth and desire.
Hers was a wrinkled face hardened with the toil of three score years and more;
Her snow-white hair, it fell across her shoulders, like a skein of silk from head to toe;
She a frail, feeble figure with a pair of teeth missing here and there;
Yet, her voice had that magic to send you in a tizzy, or put you to tears.
Her thin wiry fingers created a panorama from dark and light;
Those chiaroscuro stratagems would be any shadow-puppeteer’s delight;
She gesticulated frantically and created a magical fantasy;
Her myriad figures leapt and danced in a tumult of wild ecstasy.
Those fleeting shadows across the wall did something more than just enthral;
They reinforced a bond of love from a passing generation to an upcoming;
When her deep, sonorous voice recreated a dragon’s voice;
It led us children scurrying for cover in each other’s embrace uniting our hearts and mind.
Those joys and terror that we shared as we lay mesmerized by our grandma’s tales;
Still reverberate in my mind’s eye, a I stand today with an adult’s vision;
They speak to me in muted tones of a Way of Life no more shall be;
Of innocence, simple elegance, of shared values unencumbered by reason.
Now as I stand alone in that self-same hall;
Its musty, desolate, time-wrecked walls;
Aiming to recreate those long-lost years;
I fail to capture that ambience clear.
The mirror is there before my eyes;
Yet I fail to see the image bright;
The mirror cracks from side to side;
Proclaims of lost innocence and adult’s pride.
Web Graphics and design by Smita Maitra * Background graphic by Kabir Kashyap* concept by Amrita Ghosh * Please read the disclaimer