I remember Paris, Oh! So well,
went there so many times as a child,
the gabled windows at Montmartre,
and the Seine’s whispers mild.
The Pont du Alexander in grandeur,
and the blinking Eiffel lights,
Champs Elysees taking my breath,
and merry laughter by the nights.
Notre Dame of Hugo’s Hunchback,
the signs of intellectual ferment,
the story of fall of the Bastille,
still evoke my childhood dormant...
The allure of the Mona Lisa,
and mellow charms of the Louvre,
turns the pages of my mind
into the childhood we lose forever.
The tales of flashing guillotine,
the proud presence of the Arc,
they lead me to my childhood days,
and stoke the gently dying spark.
The city of perfumes and of dreams,
still thaws the winter of my heart,
the yesteryear of artiste’s whims,
still tug to take my mind apart,
from all the adult blues of life,
from all the gloom and all my strife.
But always relieving me of worry,
my mind still visits Rosa Patisserie.
The dreams that my mind once lived,
the desires my boyish heart hove,
However can I even forget
the sweet yearnings of first love?
The smiling rotund Monsieur Picoult,
recommending his framboise tart,
while the love for his pretty Juliette,
benumbed me like a poison dart.
Stealthy glances stolen at her,
seeing her pirouetting on her toes,
as brioches melted into my mouth,
my chivalrous love for her rose
with the temerity of her ballet notes,
and the sweetness of gooey ganache,
my inept innocence conjured images
of taking her bride with equal panache.
The sticky wholesome marzipans,
nor the boyish love for her,
could ever alter reality,
and then begun the raging war.
Separated now by dreadfully much,
I kept on nurturing my hopes,
of going back there one day,
my love for sweets my secret tropes.
But time can take such cruel toll,
that my string of fantasies,
I later learnt had got crushed,
along with Rosa and pastries.
What happened to them, no one knew,
for what was left were smoke and ashes.
The painfully few that were left behind,
said memories were but hideous flashes,
of people who would never return,
of homes that would forever burn,
and I stood amid the burning pile,
travelling for days, an extra mile.
I asked for Juliette and the sweets,
it seemed the years had swallowed her.
While I still stood a forlorn boy,
the new world had aptly moved so far.
Everything now moved so fast,
that people hardly had time to dwell,
on their memories of yesteryears,
to listen to stories or to tell.
But even now, as an old man,
I miss the lazy afternoons,
spent in Rosa Patisserie,
amid pralines and macaroons.
I don’t eat sweets any longer,
for Juliette took that taste away.
Yet the smell of caramel sugar
still adds colours to my day!
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