I'm a broken, dropout, driftwood.
by Rajaram Ramachandran
For any use, I feel, I'm no good.
I was, once, part of my mother-tree,
But I'm a fallen branch, now born free.
To her trunk content, from the nearby river,
She sucked up and kept a reserve of water.
She gave me all the nourishment
And kept me, ever, in merriment.
I shook my leaves, fresh and green,
When the cool air washed me clean,
As a sign of my life, before the world
To show, I was still in my mother's hold.
Children took me for a springboard,
And for a swim in the river jumped.
The village women, in their usual gossip,
Stood in the water to their neck deep.
With their buffaloes in water, the village men
Scrubbed the animals' back, eyeing the women
With a seen-unseen, cunning-gentle, look
As they were busy in the bath they took.
One night, the sky was thick with dark dense cloud,
That brought a storm, with the rain that followed.
The hands of the storm knocked me down,
And I was thrown into the river with my joints broken.
A driftwood now I'm, an outcast from my family,
In search of my future course helplessly.
Near the bridge, my halt before the whirlpool
Gave me a new experience, really wonderful.
The force of water tossed me up and down
And painted my trunk with foams brown.
A sudden flush of water pushed me forward,
And my onward journey again started.
What a pleasant jolly ride I had thereafter.
On my back, the birds took their shelter,
As if a boat festival for them to enjoy,
Also for me to share their joyful company.
To a destination unknown, I went ahead
And about my future, I was unconcerned.
By now I was rid of my leaves one by one
As the blades of water shaved me clean.
Slowly, I got sidelined into a sluice gate,
I was stuck up to find what next was my fate?
The Supervisor brought his four men,
And pulled me up from the water then.
In the riverbed, I was lying, for days,
Left to be dried up by the sun's rays.
The passing dogs raised their legs,
And pissed over me wetting my sides.
A pair of thieves, one day, chalked out their plan,
Sitting on my back, for a night-loot clean.
For a place of gossip, the old men of the town,
Took me for a crude bench, by the fall of the Sun.
One day, I was carted and sold to a Landlord.
He kept me by the side of his house backyard.
To tie his cow, the milkman roped me around.
And what a convenient place he found?
The Lady of the house kept an eye on me,
To cut me into pieces and use me
As firewood, to save her fuel expense.
Which drove me sad and tense.
Thank God! The Landlord, with his taste
For the art, looked at me not as a waste.
He chiseled my edges here and there
And gave me a fine polish all over.
In his drawing room, as a piece of art,
And a center of attraction, I was kept.
The visitors said I was so beautiful
That I was more like a sea turtle.
Whatever be my shape before their eyes,
To my good luck, I wasn't turned into ashes.
With the benevolent mercy of my Boss
I was saved from a terrible loss.
A tiny atom also has a role to play
And it has a place in the world to stay.
So, give every little thing its due importance
And allow it to have its own chance.