TO THE GRANDFATHER I NEVER KNEW

a poem by Nishu Mathur, India

I have seen you in those old pictures
in albums, in frames
your presence in black and whites
in gilded letters, I have spelt your name 

I have seen your deep black eyes hidden behind 
a warm wide smile
I have held that pair of sombre silver spectacles
that you wore with style

I have seen a captured moment of you in your library 
surrounded by a monument of dark hard bounds
I have seen you standing on the banks of Yamuna
on pebbled sacred grounds
I have smiled with you as you tossed your head back in laughter 
against the obvious grey blue 
I have danced with the flowing waters as they rippled 
in delight with you

I have watched closely 
the silver glints in your hair
I have seen you immersed in a book
settled on a carved teakwood chair

I have heard of you, your world, your stories
hard times encountered
your simple yearnings
your ardor for teaching those
who had given up learning
your passion, your simplicity
your honesty

I have seen those hand written Urdu poems that you penned
though I cannot read a word of them, each word comes alive 
I see how my fathers face brightens up as he reads to me 
from a chapter of your life

It would have been wonderful to know you
to hold your hand
and walk those steps along the Yamuna
laugh with you, perhaps spoilt be 
step into your world 
have you talk and read to me
share an ice cream
steal a corner of the old carved chair too 

for I am told over and over again 
that I am so much like you

IF EYES ARE WINDOWS TO THE HEART AND SOUL
OF HEART AND LOVE
CAUGHT A GLITTER
IF EYES ARE WINDOWS TO THE HEART AND SOUL
NIGHT AND DAY
CAUGHT A GLITTER

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