I remember the sultry afternoon of the bygones
And the uninvited raindrops,
Witnessed from the pavilion with colorful umbrella-roofs-
The chanting left-right-left, clattering kettledrums, and melodic flute
Ah! It was the independent-day-parade!
Houseful, roof-less auditorium, and the blowing bubbles.
We were kids, fifteen monsoons back.
Who loved cracking hundreds of peanut shells till the end of the parade.
Push and pull of families, and quarrels for the water dripping seats
Hostility seen when the umbrella curtained the vision of the ground,
Schools, scouts and guides, all neat
Unworried about marching on the meadow-less land
Remember the standing ovation and lingering applause
When your school marched down the stairs,
And the VIP’s shielded in roofs, comfortably seated on warm chairs.
Ice-creams to Thakpa’s pork momos,
People thoroughly enjoyed the independent-day-parade.
The same day, a by-sitter unpacks his green cucumber with salted chilly
And his wife offers another onlooker a home-made beverage.
They exchange their foods and then befriends.
Close the umbrella once the sun peeks and open it as it drizzles.
Today, a different set of children sits in the roofless auditorium,
Checking their cellphones and taking selfies once in a while.
We hardly took a picture with the reel camera which our father owned then,
For we had to save the reels till Diwali or New Year!
Today, the bubbles are blown only by the sellers
And the town looks adorned with multiplied, moveable balloon stalls,
Many sellers and fewer buyers, children are happy with their cellphone
And the noose of DSLR’s hung around their neck
But cracking peanuts and chomping them with black salts, Aah!
Cucumbers with salted chilly and mother-made food
All eaten in the damped seats
Watching the parade with these things had different taste altogether-fifteen monsoons back.
Happy Independent Day Poetry Readers,
This poetess Loves you.