Old Church in My Village

by Chanchal Sarin

I left my village several decades ago
Thought of visiting my birth place
Where I spent my childhood
Memories echoing fast

Church still there
Although in ruins
Looks like an old bungalow
Silence, peace and tranquility prevails

Airy yard with Mother Mary’s statue
Small cross, painted dull red
Installed at the top of the building
Overlooking a small street
Witnessing all happenings in the village
People leaving, migrating to cities
St Peter’s Church
Standing amid a dusty expanse
In the village of my childhood era

The prayer hall
The wooden benches
Decked with ribbons
Stacked Bible books
Hall empty, it is weekday
Devotees come on Sundays

I walked on the marble floor
My footsteps echoing
Windows closed
Daylight peeping through the drawn curtains

Christ in white robe
Standing on the altar
Two little winged angels in pink on the sides
Bending towards the Christ
On the walls are the images of Christ’s crucifixion
Jesus falling the third time
Jesus robbed of his garments
Jesus nailed to the cross
Jesus dies on the cross

Inside the church
I felt marooned in an oasis of peace and silence
A very soothing to the mind
Home coming I felt.

Dr. Chanchal Sarin worked for her Ph.D. (Genetics) under the world-renowned Geneticist, the father of green revolution in India Prof. M.S. Swaminathan. She retired as Associate Professor, University of Delhi, India. Dr. Sarin has authored seven books on Genetics and Biology, and several articles on research and popular science. She has also contributed in many anthologies of poems during last few years. 

Chanchal, over the years, had been actively involved in various scientific and welfare organisations to promote welfare of women and children, creating interest among students and young generations to serve the community for eliminating ignorance and increase scientific temperament.

She is settled with her husband in Gurgaon, India. Her two children, a daughter, and a son, work as medical specialists in NHS, UK.

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