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Matheran, 11th December 2011

They passed me by on horses in Matheran —
their eyes locked into each other,
unmindful of the sais leading them on
or the gilt-edged sunrise drowning them slowly,
or the bee-eaters darting, or even the macaques quarelling.

But I wonder where they're headed

— to an elopement, a temple wedding, a souring
   marriage, a custody dispute, a cathartic divorce?


— to an engagement, a wedding with sangeet and
   mehndi, school fees, wilting outside consulates,
an empty nest, a twilight of babysitting?


— to a break up, new relationships, nostalgia,
   regrets and a fading away into Alzheimer's?


Or will they just go back, eyes looking ahead

at careers, salaries, taxes,
3 BHK flats, Euro III compliant cars,
always some few days away in a broad noon

that starlight having dimmed.

I cannot quite say. They've gone out of sight;
a group of boisterous boys arrives,
in their train - – another dozen thoughts.
I can't keep thinking all the time – so I
look back into my camera,
hunting paradise flycatchers with my viewfinder.

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