Colombo 1998


I remember when there were curfews
And bombs were exploding everywhere.
Life was hard then, and still
We played badminton in our gardens,
Watched the news on TV together
And talked about everything, seated
On the ground or on sofas.

Now we don’t have terrorists anymore,
Or bombs exploding in crowded buses.
We are all, sheltered from,
Those indiscreet evils, what terrorism is,
And still, in that climate of “life on a string”
We learnt what it was like to be a family
Of close-knit bonding.

I miss the days when curfew kept us inside
To converse on just about anything
When we couldn’t fly kites or play street cricket,
And yet we made our little voices,
Be heard in a little gathering,
Of three generations, even extended family,
Letting the ambiance, be shaped only
By our free flowing words
That turn to trickles, forming sentences.

And we looked at each other,
Fear forgotten, as we made conversation,
Those little statements of nostalgia,
And those long strands of hope,
Sentiments shared from the types of places
That will never know any curfew,
Only occupancies, that tend to,
Become overstays.