Monday, 20 February 2012

Kajuwatta Praathamika Vidyalaya

(Aralaganwila, Januay 2009)

Back then
barefooted innocence
was target legit,
childhood then was not cloaked
in mother's milk fragrance
but 'covered' by soldiering routine
back then a single exercise book
for history and geography.
numbers and words
vulnerability and despair
the consolation tidbits of diurnal routine
where the school concert was
the act of being (as of now and no more)
under shadow of a twenty-one gun death-salute
except for random days like this
when life poured into village and school
with books, bags, umbrellas and shoes
and a concert-day
collaged by a resilient teacher
who stayed and stayed for 21 years;
today is another not-enough day
but back then,
something was everything

[Inspired by the photography of Hiranya Malwatta]
Published in 'The Nation' of February 12, 2012

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