books


They peer from beyond
Glasses of locked cupboards
They stare longingly
For months we do not meet
The evenings once spent in their company

Now pass at the computer screen.
They are so restless now, these books-
They have taken to walking in their sleep
They stare longingly

The values they stood for
Whose batteries never died out
Those values are no more found in homes
The relationships they spoke of
Have all come undone today
A sigh escapes as I turn a page
The meanings of many words have fallen off
They appear like shrivelled, leafless stumps
Where meaning will grow no more
Many traditions lie scattered
Like the debris of earthen cups
Made obsolete by glass tumblers

Each turn of the page
Brought a new flavour to the tongue
Now a click of the finger
Floods the screen with images, layer upon layer
That bond with books that once was, is severed now
We used to sometimes lie with them on our chest
Or hold them in our lap
Or balance them on our knees,
Bowing our heads as in prayer
Of course the world of knowledge still lives on,
but what of
The pressed flowers and scented missives
Hidden between their pages,
And the love forged on the pretext
Of borrowing, dropping and picking up books together
What of them?
That perhaps shall no longer be!

 

-GULZAR-

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