Do You See?

>A Few Things of Remembrance

>Okay, so there’s a brothers and sisters festival coming up soon. It is observed mostly in the eastern part of India and is known by two or three different names. I had written the poem below not exactly addressing this sentimental occasion, but generally as a musing about my brother and me when we were kids, and above all, brats. The poem is an exercise in some kiddish recollections… but for a change I like it. Sometimes, a brief vacation from the adult world refreshes me. Hence this me-created nursery rhyme, edited a bit from the existing version on…

A Few Things of Remembrance

He would always do
such nasty things,

My brother. He’d always upset me.
Once he had snuck open my sketchbook

And doodled a darn bird
That mocked my unruffled

sunrises and gregarious waterfalls

With that cock-a-doodle-doo trick.
Defiant, brash, energetic,

It showed me the lack of sound and movement in my art.

He had secretly scribed it in there with no one watching, not me.
A darn springy little chick.

I got hold of his toy train tracks,
vendetta of course!

And hammered it altogether
Just to make the point that I

did not need a plucky rooster
To animate the heart of my art
However immobile or inert.

I made sure his toy engine would
not puff and rush along like before

My hammer made sure it flattened them all,
a neat rejoinder
Against a scrappy bird mocking my part.

My brother stole my watercolor
tablets the next time

And soaked them well
In a plastic bucket; especially

his favorite ones – red and blue
So he could paint his tiny face
Usually cherubic and chaste.

He chose a droopy holiday
afternoon for the venture

Finding me tired doing those clock-time math
homework and sleepy,
He let the colors run without trace.

I coaxed him into acting in
my dance drama – a ploy –

He was made up as a girl.
Wearing pink frock and frills,

blue liners and painted ruby lips –
A fairy child framed on the walls
Of my Roman Catholic school.

Little did he know how I laughed with
my mischievous friends, called him names,

Punishing him for spoiling my watercolors,
have him dance and jig
Like a girly girl!

My incorrigible sibling stole my
new dolls, actually kidnapped them.

They were barely acquired.
Even before I opened the packing,

examined their tubby face and lace,
Georgette gown and pageboy hair,
Brother and sister –– an adorable pair,

He fed them gumdrops in captivity and
suddenly became a brother to them.

Then realizing something he surrendered to me
Entire cache! How rare!

I would always do this to make
you understand, he mewed:

I thrive in your playthings.
So I took your dolls, rainbow

paintboxes, sketchbook and games
Tiny balls of clay dough clinging
Candy-coloured blocks for building

Our pools of friendship where I’d swim
like a busy fish, with you

In the waters of life that perhaps would
recede steadily everyday

Until our parting.

My brother and I indeed left our
home of tales and so it feels now

I can let him have it all,
Visit it at will with his perky doodles,

funny designs and secret doors
Through where we now travel

To a childhood untroubled,
Every now and then together following

trails that he or I uncannily left

After all fights and quarrels were done and
stolen moments came home
never to double.

Looking at the broken engine, one-legged
carts, dollhouses, cracked fishbowls,

I want to tell him how our silly kiddish
capers now make me smile,

Coming back like dreams
All of it really seems
Coloured leaves we gather as we go on

into a prolonged autumnal spell.


9 comments on “>A Few Things of Remembrance

  1. anu
    October 28, 2008

    >Love it, relate to every word and the cascade of memories they bring…….and i have two brothers and they are still doing it, only it is not my toys now, they mock my understanding of the world….with theirs….. 🙂

  2. fleuve-souterrain
    October 28, 2008

    >Anu!I am sure you’ve had your share of “brother-some” attention! And sure, I know the feeling even we are grown-ups!Hey, the Diwali party the other day was swell. Loved the evening. And later, relished the halwa even more!

  3. Sonal
    October 29, 2008

    >Grtgs aftr a very noisy n fun-filled Diwali..!Just read ur musings.Very real n touching,also like the underground river one tends to flow wid ur poetic flow. Sonal

  4. fleuve-souterrain
    October 29, 2008

    >Sonal!what a surprise, nice to see you in my space. So diwali must have been very good … I remember aishi’s squealings on the phone.I am glad you like this one, thank you so very much. Hope to see you more here.

  5. tanuj solanki
    October 30, 2008

    >Hello ND!This is really nice! Made me remember my fights with my cousins 🙂 How was Diwali?TS

  6. fleuve-souterrain
    October 30, 2008

    >hey TSwelcome back man! Will visit your blog and let ya know bout my diwali… glad u liked my nursery rhyme!

  7. Joy Leftow
    November 1, 2008

    >Proves how complex sibling relations can be and that they aren't always what they seem from a glance.Now they're cherished memories to let you know you & he had shared childhood dreams.

  8. Rhett
    November 7, 2008

    >First, a poem that is liked by the author is a very special poem, I think. Special as in of high emotional/spiritual value, or high in some other quality/way. My opinion that….Next, I liked the alliteration here:doodled a darn bird…’watercolortablets’ nostalgic! enough poetry in just these 2 words. and then again, here: ‘Tiny balls of clay dough clingingCandy-coloured blocks for building’. Oh my goodness!…Ends very beautifully. After so much colour, you say, ‘coloured leaves’ and all that colour so goes in those leaves. Beautiful!

  9. fleuve-souterrain
    November 7, 2008

    >Joy,yes these emotions are so priceless!Kush,You really read well. I was told at a writing workshop that to write well, one MUST know to read well. and you have that, naturally. I never paid attention — although I wrote it, ha ha — to the signification of coloured leaves, that go off as the season/our life fades slowly away…

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This entry was posted on October 27, 2008 by in brother, kiddish, musing, poem, poetry, sulekha.
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