Amritsar memories …

Starry Night Drawing by Van Gogh

 

Beyond five star hotel’s wildest claims
a freshly made bed under myriads of stars
Is that priceless neck piece highlighting childhood’s
precious pearls strung in memory’s summers
Lying face up awed by glowing clusters overhead
chatter of whispered juicy gossip would fade and we’d
try to name the constellations rolling their names in Hindi
/ Punjabi and then comfortably in English
staccato whistling bursts from nearby railway lines
would puncture night’s cool quietude adding to it’s
choir of sound bytes intoned by three generations
as they settled down during torrid summer’s nights
…loving diamonds in the sky overhead I equally enjoyed
the light and dark patterns thrown in relief as crafted
by errant rays as they hit the pygmy grilled roof walls
rising from knee high concrete mosaic patterned
platforms in the roof for comfortable viewing
another purpose served was for lazily lowering empty rattan baskets with cash for buying freshly baked sweet rolls lathered in homemade butter as morning snacks with teas from the much sought baker who covered all the souks and by-lanes hawking his mouthwatering flavorful goods…
we’d always be on the lookout for him and with swift feet run down the stairs from the roof halting only when feet landed on the wooden platform next to grandpa’s stoop steps as we sat dangling our feet ..tiny mouths drooling in sweet anticipation eager for those aromatic freshly baked rolls… I can still sense that unique aroma as it hit our childish nostrils melting in our mouths amidst cries of joy
… on the roof one corner of that low platform also held that ubiquitous family sized earthen water jug…if water can be termed delicious then that is how I recall it’s taste …a drink from that “surahii” jug..was pure manna made by co- mingling of hand pumped water and freshly kilned clay jug giving it that unique strong earthy flavor that could slake the thirstiest throat
….there are so many memories milling in my greying topper as I live day to day swaying in time’s past tense and present tense’s hammock utterly relaxed ..catching life’s straight and..curved balls in my serenity’s mitt ..fully cognizant of where I was and where I now am
..
images: google

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