Lucknow : Nostalgia

Atul Chandra Sarkar

From kerosene lanterns to LEDs;
Cow-dung cakes and coal-waste balls,
Solar-dried for cooking traditional foods
To canopy-chimney induction-cookers;
Match sticks to gas lighters;
Hand-fans of flattened cigarette-boxes
Which cooled the hot sweat of searing gusts,
Helped drive away flies, mosquitoes and cicadas,
Prettily designed and frilled
To soundless air-conditioners;
From HMV records, radios to memory cards,
Dark lanes to glaring sodium and halogen lights,
Awakening the streets to broad daylight;
From bamboo cots to mattress beds,
Tongas, ikkas, khadkhadas, buggies
To limousines and e-bulls,
From stringed pouches and money tucked-up
Near the waist or tied to kerchiefs to wallets,
From simplex homes to complex apartments,
From lingering tang of lost time-taking recipes
To instant, fast, two-minute cooks,
I have seen my city expand
As ink on a blotting-paper,
The horizon line change from minarets,
Domes and clock-towers to water-tanks
On apartment-roofs and micro-towers,
I’ve seen one generation give way to another,
My journey has indeed been long,
A little rough, a little tough,
Interspersed with huff and puff,
A pleasure-pain mix making me wonder
Which time was the worst?
Which time was the best?
Then, when moral tales emerged
From morose evenings, dark and dreary;
When heart-touching lines
Flowed from the pen in dim lights
Of K-oil wicks sticking out
From old glass bottles and tin cans;
Melodies that emerged from strings
Tuned by agile, tear-wet fingers;
Canvases splashed with colors
Tinged with emotions;
Or statues brave or brooding to political symbols,
Fettered Freedom or unchained Liberty;
Intriguing veils to naked fashion,
Calm nights or party hullabaloo,
From clear, starry heavens
To faint lights struggling to reach earth
Or glaring head-lights blinding the eyes,
From treasured keep-away of smallest
Things and thoughts alike,
To use and throw of costly items
And precious relationships?

Atul Chandra Sarkar

Atul Chandra Sarkar's picture

Double Post Graduate in Philosophy and Sociology and LLB degree-holder, a Gold Medalist from Canning College, University of Lucknow, U.P. India. Presently engaged as Advisor (Industrial Relations) and Public Information Officer (Corporate) at Uttar Pradesh Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd., Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India and is a Guest Faculty at Electricity Training Institute, Sarojini Nagar, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh on the Right to Information Act, 2005. An Advocate registered with the Bar Council. Articles, poems and short stories have been published in popular National dailies like Pioneer, Northern India Patrika, Times of India, Campus Verse, Shaktivani, etc. A Blogger at Times of India's speakingtree and having a flair for oil painting. A democratic, liberal and humanist to the core.

Last updated July 16, 2016