We went that day
specially to see her childhood home.
We weren’t sure what state it would be in
and so we didn’t say anything
as the Uber travelled across the city
to a very different part
that my mother had once known
like the back of her hand.
My father, at one point,
exclaimed – “It is not there!
It is gone. Your house.
See, that is the circular rail.
Wasn’t your house close to it?
Weren’t they tearing down old buildings for that?”
I held my mother’s hand.
“No. This is not it.
This is not it” – she muttered in response.
And then we found it!
The building next to it
had been demolished.
But this one was still standing
with its colonial architecture
and that brick red colour
still visible in its ruined, desolate form.
“See. We lived there. On the second floor,”
my mother said in a quiet voice
as she looked at her home
that was now a house
unloved in the present
and awaiting its demise.
Ronita Chattopadhyay finds refuge in words. She is lucky to make a living out of it while working with not for profit/non government organisations in India. Her poems have appeared in The Hooghly Review, Roi Fainéant Press and Howard University's Power: An Ode to BIPOC Excellence, Mystic Owl Magazine and Streetcake magazine. A mountain person at heart, she lives closer to the waters in West Bengal (India).