Sunday, December 20, 2009

Resurrecting a Phone Book

for Sneha and all the people we Green Teen-ed with

Second names, numbers, addresses:
they all sublimate rather quickly
when you lose a phone book,
and precipitate at the peripheries of your mind,
when the smell of patchouli incense
reminds you of the people you lost with it.

There is no way to call him or her -
the person you wished you could remember -
to say you miss them
or that you thought of them
in the intoxicating swirls of wet earth
that envelope you in the monsoon dance
you do in your head
as rain showers the city
and makes it white.

There is no certainty as to where they lived
in the days when you sent them hand drawn cards
and long letters at birthdays,
because maybe,
you've forgotten their birthday
as well as the pin codes on the envelopes.

It doesn't matter that it wasn't your fault:
that your phone book got left behind in the frenzy of packing.
There's nothing to be said for it now.

Maybe it's in some dusty corner of an old house you can't return to
and maybe someone found it
and tried to return it to you,
but that wouldn't mean so much anymore
because you've had to resurrect it
piece by piece,
and number by number,
alphabetically.

It's almost complete again you think,
but then find a page left blank
for the fragment of your childhood self
that only the receiver of those cards used to know,
and write letters to,
all those years ago.

3 comments:

still water said...

this seems to be such a beautiful spate of writing. Maybe it is the space I am in just now so I can feel them on another level, but I also think it is because you write so well. I can smell things in your writing.

Ruchita said...

don't be funny la
i dunno where i'm going with these pieces. they're just collections of images
:P

Ruchita said...

and the reason why you're smelling things is because i'm smelling things when i'm writing :P

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