I have lost that sky
My claim to it long gone
With my grandparents.
Nights spent on the rooftop
On hard ‘charpoys’
Made soft with crisp white sheets
And a thin white slab for a pillow.
Big brass glasses of cow milk
(For city-bred children)
Gulped in darkness
With a piece of jaggery.
Sweaty weather, long tales
Of Gods and ghosts.

A sudden breeze would blow
Like the waters flow
With a soft murmur.
Rubbing the coolness
Of sweat on tired limbs.
Guesses about the wind’s direction
Easterly, westerly, ‘Gangati’
Most certainly.
The coolness of the Ganges
imprinted on its airy wings.
An old lantern
Lapped up moths
Like a meditating lizard
While the chatter went on.

Giggling girls, an irate adult
Begging for peace and quiet.
Then someone put out the flame
A canvas of darkness rose up 
To present a jewel-studded sky.
Saptarishis, the unwavering Dhruva
The bright sage Shukra 
All a part of the cosmic river—
The mighty Akash Ganga.
The myths came alive
On the glittering skyscape.

Words failed, feelings soared
Eyes drank in the cosmic spectacle.
The stories, anecdotes dissolved 
and lost in the land of sleep.