Do you remember 16?

At 16,

Wondering what I was going to be,

If any of the growing up was still left to do.

Trying to have my own love story,

Which I did,

When all Kumar Sanu numbers made sense.

At sixteen being the rebel that I think I was,

To what end,

I have no clue.

At sixteen when the new boy in the neighborhood gave me a rush,

And made me talk about him,

Albeit in a hushed voice.

When your brother at sixteen smells of hair setting gel and too much deodorant.

When your next door girl is too young to be wearing so much make up,

According to you though.

When you are worried to death if your son gets into an engineering college next year.

When you keep your eyes on the road,

Your ears on the door,

Dinner’s cold.

Oh when will he be home?

At sixteen,

When you hold your brother’s bloodied face,

Rest him on his lap,

And watch him close his eyes forever.

I am sorry we have failed you as humans,

My brother.


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