Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Man on the Terrace

(Written at age 15, about my grandfather's younger brother.)

In a narrow lane, part of the city’s sprawl,
There are residences and a small shop,
A buffalo-milking station with no top,
And a house with pale-yellow walls.

Atop the roof of this house, as evening faded into night,
You would see a middle-aged man,
In pyjamas, a cigarette in his hand,
And thick glasses to aid his deteriorating sight.

Any time you were around him, you would hear
One of two things: many a just, angry word,
Or open-hearted laughter, always unique and unheard.
Never, would he be the cause of a tear.

With his coarse, heavy voice, and dark skin,
He was loved for his frankness,
His lack of rancour and rankness,
And his wise, sagging chin.

And now, though he no longer remains with us,
It is hard to be deaf to his rough, out-of-tune singing voice,
His perpetual gaiety and almost rigorous rejoice,
And his amused chuckle echoing forever thus…

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