A lone dog looks around with a nonchalant air,
seeing nothing but red.
In another corner a man burns chinar leaves, making coal,
now and then stoking the fire, watching a frolicsome foal.
With firewood on her head,
steel in her heart, an unending winter in her soul,
the young but stooped woman, looks around in a daze,
hunting for her lost paradise.
A lone tear leaves her eyes, as she sighs,
sweeping away the chinar leaves,
her heart grieving for lost things.
Days become shorter, the shepherd’s daughter
happily plays with the frisky foal.
Crunch- crunch- crunch go the chinar leaves- red and gold
under her tiny feet.
Her old pheran clad grandmother watches from her door,
her eyes twinkle, as she glimpses the silhouettes
of her son and granddaughter.
Magically her wrinkles disappear.
Winter sits on a huge boulder, waiting its turn,
as the fires burn.
The shepherd picks up his daughter,
perches her on his shoulder, and walks the red carpet,
happily heading home, looking forward to a mug of kehwa.
In the gold-littered Dal Lake,
a forlorn boatman rows his boat,
an elegy sitting on his lips,
his ears ringing with the chatter of the invisible tourists-
now heard no more.
In the midst of these scenes unfolding,
a lone chinar leaf
The dance of resurrection.
The dance of rebirth, on a red earth.
The old figure at the door watches,
a youthful vigour in her rheumy eyes.
Drugged on multi- hued life, Santosh Bakaya loves to write about anything that catches her fancy, a cloud flaunting its silver hues, the expansive blue canopy overhead, the gold- streaked dawn, robustly convinced that every day is meant to be lived to the fullest.