Madhu Chamarty – My Milieu

Posted on 26 Mar ’11

Vacillations of the summer wind,
Distant tune of a French harmonica playing on the radio,
Ambient noises from a slowly retiring city,
This my milieu as I lay in bed

Then it began, the sweet nostalgia of my lifespan (so far!)
echoes of distant memories,
of childhood playgrounds and rustic townhouses,
of crowded schoolyards, Angrezi cars and late night bazaars (well said!),
This my milieu as I lay in bed

Of friends made and relatives lost,
places seen and stages past,
Many a sight rushing through the head,
from Hyderabad to Dublin’s Brazen Head,
This my milieu as I lay in bed

Then appeared an old lady,
with her dog and her book, on the balcony next door,
With hands as frail as the window sill, and a gaze as thick as the midsummer haze,
I could almost feel her breath, heavy with wisdom, age and memories stead,
This my milieu as I lay in bed

My mind continued its race through the past,
drawing up a portrait so intricate yet so fast,
A mental theatre of life: the night’s natural tune, images with skin and blood,
(Oh, The Bard is remembered!)
This my milieu as I lay in bed

I decided to rest, amidst the sounds of wind chimes and Orioles,
The old lady gave one last look,
to turn in with her Whippet and her book,
Two different people, as apart as can be,
Brought together briefly, just for a time, or perhaps for eternity

What was her thought, I wondered, was it a conscious stream?
While there I was, swaying in my subconscious dream,
Juxtaposed we were, either at random or by fate’s intricate thread, (or His spread?)
I closed my eyes to fall asleep; my heart grew fonder of the moonlight up ahead,
This my milieu as I lay in bed.

By Madhu Chamarty.


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