It was passing all the while during
beer-cooled afternoons on Laitumkhrah’s turn-on street,
in the discovery of hamburgers with a clipped British accent
of an arm in a sling opposite downshop, St.Edmund’s, circa 1977.
On a torpid afternoon youth combed his hair after a half body massage
in a run-down barber-shop and was seen hanging
from the periscope of a bus puffing up a hill, to
jostle for turtle in Iewduh or look for Captain Hunt
of Mawphlang cherry brandy with friends
from Calcutta at Chowdhury’s pharmacy, but
ending up inside greasy-red Sterling to savour
dices of liver in the first mixed chowmein.
Youth was there when whores turned us into Rajesh Khannas
for a flat student rate of 5 Rupees
at AC Lane now closed for repairs, youth was also in the queue
for advanced cinema tickets at 6am to impress
Lady Keane girls and at 6pm sipping pensive Old Monk
with big momos and listening to Radio Peking
inside Bombay, youth and I were the lowlifes smoking in the square
trying to fix a date for the next fishing at Umiam or horny revellers
rambling 10 kms for a whiff of moist women on Xmas eve.
Youth was passing all the while in the sexy rain, and last heard
singing “Strawberries, cherries, and an angel kissing spring”.
Robin S Ngangom is one of the major Indian poets writing in English today. He is based in Shillong and also writes in Meitei. And someone called him name on this blog