Walking back from the train station,
Holding nothing but a bag and my back,
A gripping pain to encompass and a loss of hearing,
From all the rat-tat of the engine,
An incessantly crying baby,
And a mother-in-law who felt no need
To hide her animosity with the new girl in the family.
Sweat and dust, never, ever is it the most pleasant combination.
Walking amongst the noise and talk of the town,
Lost in a herd of rickshaws,
I left my mind to wander to the extent
Of remembering the scenes speeding past on the journey back,
The flush greenery and the intermittent glimpses of cattle,
With the uncanny uninterested look on their faces.
As the rhythmic chug-chug and the whistle utterly failed to lull my senses,
No peace attained there, but mere longing to be out and about.
And yet, out here, amongst the chai-wallas
And the shopkeepers trying to buy their way with the foreigners,
As the sun stubbornly keeping its promise to shine, on none but me,
All that kept my feet moving, was the urge to see him.
And as I think of the last time I saw his face,
Pressed against my mother's,
Tears well up, waiting to burst out.
Leaving him to grow amongst strangers,
Unfamiliarity was his bedrock,
Merely seven, only beginning to understand his way around the world.
Footsteps became faster, involuntarily,
And the heat bore no sympathy for my afflictions.
Ten years, long gone and forgotten,
Growing with the world and aging with the universe,
Amassing knowledge and nurturing a personality,
Every milestone I missed, every step I didn't take along with him,
The guilt was bearing me down,
A burden I will forever carry.
Running back home,
This prodigal daughter,
Running back to my son.
Give me peace, my mind,
For this life I chose,
Was bitter and hard.
What I left behind,
Is what every night, remainder,
Haunts me, in the dark.