( Written during my time in London)

The fragrance of the strawberries wafts in the air. Delicate white hands smoothen out the bitter chocolate. Enmeshed with crepes, the afternoon sun seems bittersweet. For an instant, the draught chills their bones. The twinkle of an eye, a gradual grin and softness bursts into song. The moment seems fragile.

The pigeons hover about the marketplace, looking for crumbs. Amidst the drowsiness and the pallor, there is exchange of conversation. Subtly at first, followed by a gush of emotions when they talk about their mutual love for well-worn books.

The tube is crowded. In a whirl of colours, the two find themselves sitting beside each other, eliciting odd stares. They talk about their hopes, their dreams, shattered fragments. They talk about lives lost. He talks about his family, how no one knew where his grandfather was in the aftermath of the tragedy.

He asks her if she misses home. She does, she tells him. She misses the people. She misses her jamrul tree. When she asks him what it is that he misses about home, he says it is the river that flows downstream in Kyoto and the quiet mountains.

They sit down to drink coffee. They discuss samurais and comics books. As the sun begins to set,  two strangers  discover an unknown land that neither can call home. 

Both have fire in their eyes and  wonder in their hearts.