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Female friends

Those were the days!

Female friends

When female friends meet
after long years around
the old and new names
scratched on the coffee house table
their infectious laughter
will ring false the adage
that says that laughter
has but a small life
And they will be surprised
at their own capacity
to still laugh so much
The unprovoked
laughter of youth
often gets lost
in loves, homes, offices
But when they met
after long years
then once again
it will be a laughing marathon
Laughing, they will talk
of painting, poetry and fiction
And they will recall
that girl in the hostel
who pasted posters
outside the warden’s room
and raised slogans against
the insipid mess food
They will also remember
The girl who used to sing
old Hindi movie songs
till late in the night and
stealthily make tea for her friends
Now even the new songs
of those days
have become old
and the old very old
But when they meet
the difference between the old
and the new
will melt away
Trying to recognize
some names on the table
they will ask one another
Why is it that one rarely
marries for love?
And if one does then
why does the love end?
The answer to these
unanswerable queries
will be some more laughter
but not as unprovoked as
it used to be in the old days.

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