Sliver of Memories

Reading Time: 2 minutes

An inward-looking, evocative verse by Mamta, in Different Truths.  She tells us that in this ephemeral, ever-changing world, something doesn’t change. 

Like migratory birds
I return home to the verdant hills
Throbbing pull of the native place
Through continents, airports
Stations, bus, and taxi-stands
Swarms of people, cattle, flies
The stench of urine and faecal waste
Overpowering and intimidating
Spaces change
Hills don’t.

The flaming ‘Buransh’
The lush Hydrangea
Recklessly grow along serpentine bends
Garishly painted Dalda tins
Full of seasonal blooms
The groaning ‘Chakotra’ trees
Offer no accusations
As I gaze at them misty eyed
Landscapes change
Hills don’t.

The carved ‘dyodhi’, the glowing ‘thya-khand’
With framed gods, goddesses 
The departed family members
Every inch of worship area
Covered with ‘geru’ and ‘biswaar’
Circles, triangles, symmetrical lines spell
Intricate art of ‘aipan’
Patterns change
Hills don’t.

The cooing of the ‘ghughut’
Crowding in the crevices
Of the carved wooden balcony
The richness of the moment internalised
Gives an objective view 
Of my immediate life
Tattooed with angst
Full of inane clutter 
Lives change
Hills don’t.

‘Gahat bhatt’ ‘bhanga’, ‘jambu’
‘Baal mithai’, ‘choklate’
 and ‘singauri’

A departure without them
Cannot be imagined
Travel bags burst with kitchen essentials
Sated and soaked to the brim
Ready to measure distances again
Milestones change
Hills don’t.

Moving away
From the point of origin
Sorrows of separation engulf but temporarily 
Opening possibilities of another visit
An eye on the calendar
The pace of the heart matches the speeding clock
The resonant  past beckons
Plans change
Hills don’t.

Glossary of Kumauni words

Buransh– Rhododendron flowers



Thya-Khand– Place of worship

Geru– Terracotta

Biswar– Rice flour

Aipan– Floor-painting for auspicious occasions


Gahat Bhatt-Horse-gram lentils

‘Bhanga’-Seeds of hemp plant

‘Jambu’ -dried flavoured grass                                                                   

‘Baal mithai’, ‘Choklate’ and ‘Singauri’– local sweets made of thickened milk.

©Mamta Joshi

Photos from the Internet

#Poem #EverChangingWorld #ConstantInLife #Hills #FeelingOfHome #Verse #Inwardlooking #DifferentTruths

Mamta Joshi did her post graduation in History from University of Allahabad. She writes short stories, reflective essays, prose pieces on everyday life in national dailies and international e-magazines. She writes with equal ease in Hindi. For over two decades, as a teacher of English in college section at SMC, Allahabad, she has been interacting with young minds, understanding their pulse and in turn being savvy on technology, fitness, fashion, humour and rumour too.