I cannot forget the flower,

I gave Daphne* years ago,

I cannot forget her smiles,

That beamed on her years ago.

I cannot forget father's calls,

At the dinner table, years ago,

Asking me to join him there,

For supper many years ago.

I cannot forget ma's lullaby,

Sung to me when I was a child,

Sweeter than Lata's* it was,

At that time many years ago.

I can't forget the train journey,

With my pa several years ago,

From Madras to Tiruchirapalli,

Slow and steady, several years ago.

I cannot forget Joshua John*,

And the times we shared years ago,

With him, Daphne and Ramola*,

During Xmas several years ago.

I cannot forget Tiger* and Nick*,

Nor Malir* of several years ago,

How pa and ma suffered for us,

Me and my siblings several years ago.

I cannot forget Commissioner Sa'ab*,

And his sweetness and kindness,

Nor can I his Cadbury bars,

Or ice cream flasks many years ago.

I cannot forget that bicycle rides,

With my pa singing all along,

Raj Kapoor's* famous film songs,

Or Do-Re-Me*... several years ago.

I cannot forget Children's English School*,

Or the rain-soaked walks with friends,

Trudging on to school or back home,

So many times several years ago.

I cannot forget the kites we flew,

On the clean and sandy shores,

Of cities in the East and West,

Or in the parks many years ago.

I cannot forget the comics I read,

And all the books I had with me,

Tarzan, Phantom, Gold Key, Archie,

Blyton, Doyle, Hugo and Christie.

I cannot forget my childhood friends,

And I cannot forget my special ones,

Daphne and father head the list,

Of those I miss since years ago.

I miss Rita-Yank* of Ohio,

I miss Becky* of the '70s,

And I miss dignified Iona*,

My English teacher of years ago.

I miss every moment of my past,

Be it joyful or full of pain,

And all those "times of torture"*,

Afflicting me several years ago.

And I won't talk of those times,

When love meant everything to me,

When days and nights were paradise,

Forever they 'll be a mystery.

Today I was alone at dawn,

Though God is there with me always,

But tears like blood-drops in the heart,

Hide aches which the world won't know.

This very day last December,

My loving pa left me with Saigal*,

And with all the memories,

Of him and the rest...of years ago.

I know not what to say to whom,

I know with whom to share my time,

Shehzad* and Adnan* are also far,

With whom to talk of all those years ago!

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Produced on the morning of the 4th of December 2008, in Karachi, Pakistan...my father passed away in 2007 on
this very date...and this poem is an outpouring of the emotions and feelings...
1) DAPHNE*: My schoolmate and the one girl I cannot forget...ever.

2) LATA*: Lata Mangeshkar, famous Indian playback singer.

3)JOSHUA JOHN*: Daphne's elder brother and my classfellow...at school.

4) RAMOLA*: A neighbour and a friend.

5) TIGER AND NICK*: Pet dogs we had in our childhood days.

6) COMMISSIONER SA'AB*: A family friend named Ghulam Mohammad Badshah and a very kind and generous person...

7) RAJ KAPOOR*: A famous Hindi film actor of India whose songs sung for him by Mukesh were a favourite with me and father...

8) DO-RE-ME*: Famous song from the movie THE SOUND OF MUSIC.

9) CHILDREN'S ENGLISH SCHOOL*: One of my first schools abroad where I learnt much...and where I made friends DAPHNE AND JOSHUA JOHN.

10) RITA-YANK*: My friend and admirer of my poetry and short stories who lived in Ohio, USA, and who like Daphne, is no more in this world.

11) BECKY*: School-friend and one year my senior.

12) IONA*: My first and favourite English teacher...unforgettable!

13) "TIMES OF TORTURE"*:1986-2002...which I cannot discuss with everybody.

14) SAIGAL*: Kundan Lal Saigal...India's most-famous singer who is still my favourite among those in the South Asian region.

15) SHEHZAD*: Shehzad Latif or SHAZI...my best friend so far among all those blessed on me by God Almighty.

16) ADNAN*: Adnan Jaffar, a friend since 2007...and a friend indeed...without doubt.

17) Other names are of cities like Madras and Tiruchirapalli (India) and the names mentioned with comics and books are of well known comic heroes and authors of famous books...some of my favourite ones.

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palewingedpoetess's picture

This poem in its own way secures all these memories from ever leaving you. I too, love to write poems like these and have done so on many an occasion. I guess its a way of preserving precious moments we fear we might one day not be able to recall anymore. Anyway, I really loved this. It made me think of my own such poems about childhood and people I once held so very dear in my heart and to some degree still do. Memories are like precious jewels we lock away and take out and admire on lonelier emptier days in our lives and they make those lonelier times easier to deal with and they become prettier to look at (those prior mentioned memories)as time passes. I can well understand the poignancy you felt on the anniversary of your father's death date. Such love shared could I dare say move a rock to tears. You know who!....... so why type it?

shazi's picture

My dear friend I was so moved as i read and re read your poem. It aches the heart as it moved from verse to verse, stanza after stanza is filled with all those memories which I am glad that we lived through. May ALLAH ease your pain Amin. Keep writing, your friend forever Shazi