Diwali without you

Lights bright and festive
On the outside.
Fragrances wafting out of kitchens.
Colourful motifs abound
There is celebration everywhere.

The inside is
Searching for answers.
For a change
It isn’t dark-
Just reflective.

The memories
From yesteryears flood in.

An accidental fire cracker explosion
The bloodied hand
Of a two year old brother
Looking like an overboiled potato.
Rushing to the hospital
Wondering what
Plastic surgery meant.

An array of lighted candles
Which melted
Like the lowered arms
Of cheer leaders.
In remarkable order.

The one bright lantern
At the door step.
Hundred arguments
About choosing
Orange or red.

The mandatory tulsi leaf
On each plate
Of sweets.
No touching
Till the go ahead
Came from Mom.
Wishing she prayed faster
As the neighbours’ lights
Had already come on!

Her gold and red shimmer
The vermillion streak
Through her hair.
The gulab jamuns
Which I cannot replicate.

Now it is quiet.
An earthern diya
Glows in a corner
Warm and serene.

Diwali is in your mind today.
The lights are within.
Etched in the strength
Of our memories and
Summoned at wish.

Anshu, 30 October 2016

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