I miss old times and people;
open eyes and see change envelope them and me.
I miss my little brother calling me to play cricket
on the terrace and I, the elder one, reluctant at times,
with things more important to do saying no
sometimes, and the day we drafted a penciled contract
mutually agreed upon; then signed. Its clauses:
I would not slobber him in public,
I would play terrace-cricket with him every afternoon,
and I would not snatch his chocolate, or samosas.
I did keep to my part of it for some time, I remember,
then, I left. When we met again, he had grown up.
Didn’t need any more his playmate of terrace,
Didn’t play cricket there anymore. I know how it feels.
I know the shock, the pain, the novelty of being wanted no longer.
Then came my daughter demanding, not drafting agreements, that:
I play with her every evening, after I return from work.
I take her to the park at weekend mornings
I don’t force her to learn her tables,
I don’t side with her mother when she’s scolded.
No, I did not make the old mistakes this time.
I enjoyed her company, played with her,
took her to the park most weekend mornings,
only sometimes inquired about the table of thirteen
and only sometimes sided with her mother,
never when she was scolded. I stayed. She grew up.
Doesn’t need her old play mate any more,
doesn’t play those make-belief games any more.
Yes, I know how it feels: no shock,
numbed senses, the practice of being wanted no longer.
I sense my grandchildren in future, demands unchanged,
Eyes bright and fear, once more, being wanted no longer.