A fragrance permeates my head
when I see this Gulmohur tree,
from under which we boarded bus
and went to school carefree.
The tree was stumps for our cricket
while waiting for the bus to come,
but often without a bat or ball,
under it many a song we’d hum.
My stamp collection, his trump-cards,
her Barbie: our world collective.
Those on-impulse created rival camps,
those next day’s steps corrective.
Those steps succeeded without fail,
till we moved apart in space;
being better now outdid being good,
and we bettered at monstrous pace.
In place of those unreasoned smiles,
we braced an unreasonable scoff;
so much time spent getting better,
and are we really better off ?
In bettering, I got you, my job,
and of my debts to you, the main,
is that by driving to your premises,
I am now passing this tree again.