TIMES HAVE CHANGED
By Aabishkar Thatal
My dad used to tell us three siblings about his struggles back in the day.
How he walked to Gangtok from his remote village making his legs sore,
He used to tell us about his friends
And how they used one matchstick to light six cigarettes;
He wasn’t born an Indian – Sikkim was still a kingdom.
When he was four, Sikkim merged with India,
A change in the National Anthem –
Jahan Bagcha Teesta Rangeet at heart,
Jana Gana Mana at events.
My father used to write poetry in his diary,
Wake up at 3 in the morning and study hard,
He made his parents proud with every exam he passed.
When he was 17, he started commuting in the Commander- The Jeep that still looks so classy, nothing computerized.
Matchstick changed to a small cheap lighter.
Times changed for him.
Now, he uses the latest lighter and smokes the finest cigarettes.
The Commander is found only in old garages, dilapidated and dusty.
He has a driver now and his feet aren’t sore.
Back in the day, letters were written for loved ones,
Feelings painted with ink – the color faded, love didn’t.
Today, we type e-mails and messages,
Permanent words and break up in 2 days.
Calligraphy changed to Times New Roman,
“I love you to the moon and back”
got cut to
“Love you AF”,
Art changed to instant gratification.
It has certainly changed.
That butterfly with vibrant wings you saw while driving,
Maybe it flew away beautifully, finding another flower to rest its wings on
Or maybe its vibrancy got caught in your screeching tires,
Never saw the change it was going to bring.
Times have changed.
But like my dad in the 80s,
We still have a pen and a diary to write our poems in.