Kalimpong Sixties 

You might recall the streets of Kalimpong

when we could walk,

when we could talk,

and laze away our moments waiting for the papers at Himalayan Store .

Repeated rounds of Main Road, 

‘half glass’ tea at Dipali and Narayan Das, 

Were just excuses to prolong the hope 

of saying a shy Hi to someone special !


The “bioscopes”  in Kanchan and Novelty

Put dreams in us of the big world across Teesta Bridge!

The ‘coming’ posters of great hit movies -

Magnificent Seven, Great Escape, Guns of Navarone !

Were seen with such avidity.

Melville de Mello and Binaca Hit Parade

Brought all ears closer to whining and whistling radios;

While black-white photos were paint-brushed into colorful life

in  Gopal, Om and SKG studios !

Guitar strings from Premalaya produced music notes

Of  Beatles, Carpenters, and Tom Jones

that still pull at our old scarred hearts !

Packed Dharma Hall in Kumudini, showed us our roots 

With Gopal Yonjan and Aruna Lama at the mike!

“Baishaki ban ma..” and “Nau laakhey taara”

Stirred new emotions within us, our very own emotions !

And who can explain the mad, chaotic happiness

that Pandrah August brought to young and old ?

Kira Kanchha, and Hum Jaayega seem so much taller 

now that the laughter they evoked is heard no more ..

The great bell of Macfarlane Church 

has come down from its lofty perch,

but still rings in many hearts of many faiths ! 

And Relli, dear old Relli

your memories of sunny picnics flow much farther 

than the Teesta- Rangeet you embrace !

My dear Kalimpong ! 

You have outlived Graham, Sutherland, and Tibet trade.

Great local souls, who grew up with you, have peacefully closed their eyes in your lap!

Even as you continue your endless journey of time,

Leaning  cozily on Kanchenjunga,

I’ll say something which many have said, and still do - 

Kalimpong  I love you!


James Simick is a Kalimpong poet residing in Kolkata, leading a retired life and dabbling in his childhood passion of words.