Kids Corner


Early Music





We were circling the square

parikarma, Mother and I, a slow barefoot walk

around the healing waters of Bangla Sa’ab

How astonished I was

the same jo-tum-chaan shabad

started playing in the gurdwara, the same music-lit

words she had inscribed on a ruled sheet

in Gurmukhi script

for me in the morning

She walks in indigo


Good to be

out of the kitchen. Mother radiates

a pulsating presence

and the sky then knew no absence

Maadhave tum na toro / To hum nahi torein

swayed like stalks of young pampas grass

blown by the wind

We continue the walk

both bedazzled by the mountain in

Jo tum girvar / To hum mora

The vast ocean of gurbani

full of jewels and pearls

accompanied us

Lovely the birds on cool marble

of parikarma, Children glowed

fish-watching. One almost 8

the age at which the child Guru

Harkishan died, circa 1664

caretaker of the sick

Perhaps she knew, she was aware

that I had no idea, This one our last

walk together

But we made the circle again

a year later, in a different city. In Amritsar

we walked keeping Harmandar on our right

First on my left shoulder

then on right

In a moist black, laptop bag, I carried

her ashes

flowers, and our unfinished

untranslated manuscripts

There at Darbar Sa’ab

13th of Magh, 2013, after crossing Darshani Deori

we stood on the narrow bridge for over two hours

As orphaned paper kites

and fellow sufferers

dived into the sun-shimmering sarovar

And just before

the golden doors 

of the temple opened

Like other corroding souls


listened to two enduring words  

‘Love’ and ‘Asees / blessing’ -- widening


of comet-like resonance, no mass


anahad naad, un-struck

wave, un-struck melody

Jaspreet Singh is a novelist, essayist and a short story writer. His books include Seventeen Tomatoes, Chef and Helium. He lives in Canada.

December 14, 2014

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