Kapadia House


A ghostly mansion stands
Amidst creepers crawling dark
Skeleton placidity

An iron gate gapes
Rusty teeth barring all trespassing
On yesteryears’
Forgotten genealogy

A child in awe
Swallows oodles of warm delight
Surrounding a sight
Familiar unfamiliarity

The tall yellow walls
Perhaps once bustled with warmth
Fireplace and kitchen squirm
Spices, aromatic tea

Long-gone-ladies in laces
Phantoms in boots, babies with nannies –
Eerily whisper in crannies
Of bygone alacrity

A ponched master with pipe
Perhaps droopy eyes behind bifocals
Attending to locals, now lies
Interred into history

The convulsing mother of six
Bringing down the roof on maids
Doing her braids in bed- the dead
Breeding diurnal scenery

Big mama in white – now ashen –
Sucking toothless her overboiled meat
Complaining of heat
Haunts that deathbed till date

The background gramophone
Once whining of joy and flowing wine
Ballroom on cloud nine
In silence curse their fate

Glory then
Now warmth a hearth
Void – Dearth of life web
Looms of dead vivacity

How many untold sagas
These walls hold in folds of tattered curtain
Is not certain
Yet they certainly

The mansion a witness to all
Stands helpless and tall
The Silent testifier to tentacles of time
Enshroud in mystery


Facts : Kapadia House, an iconic bungalow on Napean Sea Road, Mumbai now stands vacant and sold off to a realty promoter who plans to bring it down and erect a modern multistorey (concrete monster?) in the same place. More and more iconic buildings all over the country (India) is being handed over to promoters in the name of profitable urbanisation and modernisation which can only crush hearts of some of us, the emotionally silly brigade, of poets, empaths and lovers of history and our roots.

P.S. This poem is not intended to malign or defame any of the legally rightful parties involved with the said property. With utmost respect to their personal decision about their personal property, this piece only mourns a poet’s, my, personal loss of memory and much cherished mementos of yesteryear.

Disclaimer : All the  people and events depicted in this poem are fictional creations of poetic imagination. Any resemblance, to any person, dead or alive, and/or to any actual event, is purely coincidental and unintended.

© All rights reserved, Nivedita Dey, 2016

Pic Courtsey (with profuse thanks!) : Girbban Paul
You can find some of his stunning work here :


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