Of a Simpler Time

Don’t you remember those days?
When you knew where you lived, 
from the neighbours around you. 
When you knew who you were,
from those loved ones who reminded you of yourself in dark times.
When houses were built to house people, 
and not empty things and objects that no-one really wants.

Do you remember those days, 
when the summer rains would blow from the west precisely at four in the evening?
And the kind Ajji next door will remind you that your clothes are out.
When everybody knew everybody and their everybody.
You hated the fact that you couldn’t be invisible. 
Be careful what you wish for.
Today all of us are invisible in the maddening crowd,
Invisible and insignificant. 

I remember those days, 
when we didn’t know where we would be eating tonight.
Not for any lack, but a surplus of loving kitchens.
When, cricket was played on the streets, 
until the street lamps glowed orange, or until the ball was lost. 
Those unfettered days of freedom, have we tasted,
and nothing seems sweeter than that first love. 

My friend, let us remember those days, 
When life was far simpler. 
The continuity of the past brought a comfort in a fast changing world.
Our desires were simple, our possession simpler. 
Our minds in search for the truest expression of the self. 
Our bodies clothed by simple expressions of the tailor, 
Our hearts unmasked from the insatiable greed of being a consumer. 

I remember those days, 
When the streets would go quiet by seven, 
And the night would cast her shadows deep into 
the ancient trees that dotted the square. 
When the morning would indeed be our morning,
rising with dawn to welcome the sun's blessing into our homes.

Alas, todays illumination is without, 
from cell phones that cast eerie shadows on your dim faces well into the night. 
And today’s connection is to be found in an etherial realm. 
We are closer and yet father than we ever could be. 

I yearn for those bygone days, 
where simplicity was a virtue. 
And a human was still a human.


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