Youth

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

One Response

  1. Ths poem is typically Robinesque,confessional and unabashed ….nostalgic…taking us back to a time when lust was not a four letter word merely…. as for calling Robin names, well robin had served his purpose .had managed to provoke the smug…..good work Robin,,,,

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