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Old photographs

Rummaging through old photographs,
I'm suddenly driving the wrong way
on a one-way street.

There's an old photograph of me -
eight or nine years younger perhaps.
Maybe if I shed some flab,
lose that double chin
and some of the gloominess -
You think, I can go back to that
fresh-faced twenty-something look?

There's one of my sister's friends
taken some years back.
Pretty bachelorettes worth a whistle
- when no one's looking, of course -
but they'll not be bachelorettes now,
perhaps not pretty even.
Who knows?

Further back in the pile,
a few snaps of my coming-of-age ceremony
or perhaps a losing-of-innocence ceremony.
There's me - eight years old - being
initiated into rites I'm going to abjure
a teenage rebellion later.

And randomly there's one I see
of Gomateshwara -
a tourist souvenir
of a visit to Shravanabelagola -
head too far up to capture in the camera
(probably the sun glared).
If he weren't a god or saint,
not a suitable photograph for ladies.

Old photographs in crumbling albums.
Certainly driving the wrong direction
in a one-way street.


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