My Childhood Home

A four feet square bedroom window 
with horizontal iron bars,
On them I used to climb and hangout long hours.
This window adjoining the balcony
overlooked a petit garden with a view of a mango tree.
Ah! my life in those government quarters
where I was born bred and grew..


Those were the most endearing days
I just cannot forget my first house
with rooms only two
..
A double bed placed to the left of the wall
though big enough for us two sisters;
was a battlefield of sorts.
A partition was done on its headrest one day
demarcating our equal share to this throne!

Next to this bed was my poster laden wall
Tom cruise and Shahrukh Khan perpetually
gawking at me with their deep loving eyes
Oh making me gush mush blush
think they knew - they were my crush!!
Ah! that beautiful wall mirror in cast iron,
its shelf always brimming to a fall..
From glitter nail paints and bindis
to hair brushes and blushes
fancy rings ,earrings and chokers and necklaces and all.

That study table on the opposite end of my room
filled with chelpark ink, fountain pens
books on geography, geometry that didn't woo.
few borrowed Nancy drew, Mills & Boon and Sidney Sheldon's too,
Adjacent to the table
Was our wardrobe in wood
Shared again by us two sisters

another reason for our constant taekwondo
Why? My section being neat at all times
and hers, always like a scene of crime !

Upper shelf in my cupboard
had all of my favourite things.
Birthday cards from Archies
various stickers and fancy things.
Archie comics, a gifted perfume named Ivana
trinkets, coins and stamps..


Wall clock in black always 10 minutes ahead,
lest we miss the school bus
in the morning scramble and rush.
The kitchen smelt of gourmet delights
on weekends, meeting all our demands
as it was a holiday alright !

Those bygone days I fondly remember
And often miss that home
that lane, mango tress , that bus stop
those neighbours and my childhood friends
the shouts of plead to come down and play
the kho kho, pethu, hopscotch and relay..

A carefree stroll on those summer nights
to the ice cream cart that waited
near the main road at the end of my lane.
these memories oh memories just stick like a glue

Ah! my life in those government quarters
where I was born bred and grew..


©Preeti S Manaktala

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