You were somewhere in Kolkata.
Batanagar, in all probability.
To think that I was trekking
through the national park,
scared of being chased by a bear,
when you were probably writing
to your dead mother.
I have never seen her, Toru.
Had she ever been to Sandakphu?
Two years later we met
in Kolkata, after the monsoons.
I don’t quite remember the poems
you read out to me.
A few by Joy Goswami,
by someone else.
I didn’t care much
as long as you kept reading.
There was the fear of death, Toru.
Not once but so many times.
I often slipped,
and the jeep almost rolled over the cliff.
for our first trip together, Toru,
let us go to Sandakphu
and make it all up,
as though we were going through
abandoned letters in winter-time.