A Park Revisited

I remember this place now ,

this carefully paved path, this church

and this tower which throws its reflection

upon a quietly slumbering pond.

Suddenly it comes back to me ,

when the park appears like an apparition,

all the miles that fell behind me and all the years lost

since I moved away only lead me back

to the ghosts of the past time,

(how strange they all remain the same

but wrinkles have crawled upon my face. )

oh, your church bells , they are tolling now ,

like they did for me and my wasted youth –

there I was , all the useless dreams and ideals,

the nocturnal walks, the first taste of a man ,

and drunk ramblings of love that never lasted long,

like a random sketch was my life and I escaped.

now all the laughers and tears have yellowed and faded

into stories, into happenings with no details .

Only sometimes an almost tangible after-sensation,

like a sudden twitch in the heart right now, still reminds me

that It was here ,right in this park of love and loss ,

many many years ago…

Patan Kumari

I walk up the rickety stair leading to her shrine

on the top floor of a black old temple,

overawed by the imminent glimpse of the Kumari,

the living goddess in Patan ,

my steps are cautious and every mural is terrifying .

and suddenly , there she is , in a small compartment

of this room smelling of cypress,

clad in red and glittering gold , perching on a black throne,

like fire flares through the eternal darkness of mystery

and remains aflame, here, in this tiny room.

I stand motionlessly before her, ten steps away ,

dare not look at her straight to the eyes, but I know,

she is now looking at me , triumphantly ,the goddess,

yes, the holy goddess is looking at me,

through the innocent eyes of a five-years-old.

I come closer, to the scarlet wonder ,

and kneel down , as man always does before a deity ,

pranamasana , pranamasana.

and I pray, even though this grand religion

and its doctrine seem to me curious and exotic,

but no man can stand without a belief and passion,

for that, I must pray.

benevolently, she dubs on my forehead a red dot.