Ooty Dreams

Where neelakurunji teases
And blooms every twelve years
Where spiralling mountains dip
Stained fingers in curried bowls
Upon misted valleys distant below
Jignesh dreams he stands tall
On wide heights of land
With heaven’s rains tumbling

It was not the fragrant monsoon season
When he visited Ootacamund
Udhagamandalam, he tells me
(The word slips easily as tea leaves
cupped at harvest time)

Then, he was young, he says
Jumping off at a roadside stand
‘Queen of hill stations’
Somewhere on the Nilgiri plateau
It does not really matter where, he laughs
For he sipped the nectar of Ooty tea.
You cannot imagine the wonder of it, he sighs

Only now he chatters more on icy days
Driving cab in Canada in early winter
It is truly not one of the easiest tasks
Last week a driver was attacked and robbed
Here, in this civilized land of cold cities
But in his mind Jignesh hops an aquamarine train
Rushing far away, deep, deep into the heart
Of Tamil Nadu, where dreams stand still


©2012 S. Michaels
Along Silk Roads

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