Falling Headlong

Falling Headlong

Peering at my horribly expensive
Embroidered pashmina shawl
all the while caressing its soft
skin, I searched with x-ray eyes
for any offensive moth bites

A single gaping mouth
Jeered at my shocked eyes as
In horror I looked at its maw
From all angles and wept
and then I smiled

through the hole I entered
childhood’s hideout, grandpa’s
closet bursting with fine silk shirts
and one with front button holes held
together by a string of gold buttons

in sheer nostalgia I rubbed
my face in its loving folds
even as whiffs of hookah fumes
entered my tender nostrils and
his walrus moustache tickled

fascinated we’d watch his
luxurious pride bristle in anger
even as he lovingly combed it
with tiniest of gold combs after
drying milk droplets from each hair

deep rumbling voice dripping with
love and strength beckoned as we sat
in his lap happily licking away at endless
cups of vanilla ice cream to beat summer’s
sizzling heat, munching other delicacies

whoops of exuberance and pitter
patter of tiny feet shook the ancient
staircase touching the skies with its
triple roof terraces filled with pickling jars
getting weathered simmering in sun’s heat

we would quickly untie the cloth covering
the gaping mouths of the jars and extract
spoonfuls of raw mango slices, chutneys
slurp it with gusto, laughter renting the air
as we retied jar mouths hastily, guilt ridden

masticating the semi soft inner core of
quartered green tender mangoes, enjoying its
tangy tartness, saliva filled our mouths like an
unexpected torrent triggered by this headlong
fall through the moth hole of pashmina shawl

sheepishly coming to, reluctantly climbed out of it
emerging to present, not worried about the damage
any more as the moth hole was now a portal to my
wondrous childhood, a time travel widget, not a loss
and even as life takes, it gives back in full measure

 (pictures from internet)


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