Monday, September 22, 2014

No. 24, Old Mission Compound


From running behind chickens,
Catapulting stones at mangoes and guavas,
Running for cover after lighting the cracker under a tin.
To learning to cycle without the trainer wheels;
There used to be a backyard that witnessed it all.

That trip and fall on all fours,
The bleeding knees and bruised chin;
Just after setting sail the paper boats,
Catching cold in the summer rain.
There was a threshold that played the host for it all.

Helping Ammamma with filling the karjikais.
Pinching the dough slops from the kajaya container.
Rolling the kalkals off the fork’s tines into hot oil.
Tossing rose cookies to the box from oily old newspaper.
There was a smoky kitchen, where for every memory you could find a recipe.

This was Puttu’s much-loved destination, be it Saturday mornings or summer vacation;
Where, under the tiled roof, no textbooks, uniform, or school shoes could ever be seen;
However, now what’s left of it is not what it used to be.
But you could try to spot Puttu trot in and out of No.24, Old Mission Compound,
If you look closely, through these lines.

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