Sunday, May 26, 2013

HemaMalini (Vidyodaya, '86)

A year or so ago,
When I came across
A class photograph
From my past, I
Touched faces,
Saw smiles,
Heard distinct voices
Across the miles;
Across the months, the years
Of life that slipped away...
Like so much fine sand.

If the persons behind the faces
Switched off their TVs,
Shut out the traffic,
Turned down their chatter,
Quieted their families
For a moment,
Will they hear my thoughts?
I wondered.
Will they hear me whisper
"Hey, how are you doing?
Do *you* see my face too?
Do you wonder
Why I flashed in your mind's eye?
Can you hear me?
Did we connect?"

Yet, so busy that I was
Doing the asking,
Lining up the questions,
That I failed to
To the silence
That came away
From the corner
That I imagined
Held one classmate
Turns out,
*I* didn't sit still enough
To recognize
That her voice
Was by then
No more.

R.I.P. HemaMalini.

October 6, 2012.