The Scent of Wonder

The eldest son
All the way from
Australia
(The last of the continents)
came to perform
the last rites
of his father
who died a week
before in India.

The day was full
of events big and small.
The dead man’s memory
hung like a veil
of wood smoke on
one and all.

The boy
met some relatives
long lost absentees
of vague memories,
of bygone years.
The melting distance
in deep affectionate bonds.

The scent of wonder
In the heart of a loner.

At the end of the day,
the ceremony over and goodbyes said,
we returned to our places
Speeding home in blackened coaches
Crossed the clogged bridges
Passed some muddy rivers

Saw some sprawling solitary hills
And speeding leaf-heavy trees
Blooming nameless
Flowers and forests,
Kites flying in perfect groups
Ruffle of white feathers.

Crowded compartments
Unreserved travelers
Standing in the aisles
In groups and single files
The milling crowds
strange faces
unknown destinations.

Beautiful village belles
Handsome males
Tall dark cool devils
Sad-happy-funny-situations.
The old leaning on young shoulders
The children in mothers’ laps.

The scent of wonder
Here and yonder

Squatting huts
The poor inhabitants
Factory smoke
Industrial waste

All a part of
A peculiar paradise.

The scent of wonder
Now and ever.

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The Scent of Wonder

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