MA (March 27,1951 / India)

A Mam Walks The Streets

That old man near the traffic light
Was expelled from home at midnight.
He walked away steady on his feet.
And made his home on Delhi streets.

My driver whispered in a resigned tone.
I looked up putting down my mobile phone.
He carried on his shoulder a jute bag,
And in his hand a clean yellow rag.

As the traffic light blushed red,
The driver to stop compelled.
The old man near the traffic light,
Asked the driver –may I wipe?

He had a gentle voice and even stride,
Erect back and manner polite and mild.
Now this was his new means of livelihood,
He hoped to be paid to pay for some food.

Sahibs waved him away on their way
Down town, gearing for charades and play.
A little girl offered the man her lunch box.
Their eyes met, he looked flummoxed.

I lost my grandpa early last summer,
He went without having his supper.
You remind me somewhat of him.
Although a bit thin, she grinned.

They laughed, tears in their eyes
He took it with a bow she waved bye.
She turned and called back, Dadu
Will you be here tomorrow too?

The old man near the traffic light
Said, sure dear, I’ll be here all right.
Turned heavenwards, saw a bird alight
A rainbow walked the earth in day light?

He unabashedly cried, cried and cried,
‘I had thought my tear glands had dried’.
He wiped his face on his shirt sleeve,
A rainbow on a dreary day, I sure do believe.

.
.

A man walks the streets

That old man near the traffic light
Was expelled from home at midnight.
He walked away steady on his feet.
And made his home on Delhi streets.

My driver whispered in a resigned tone.
I looked up putting down my mobile phone.
He carried on his shoulder a jute bag,
And in his hand a clean yellow rag.

As the traffic light blushed red,
The driver to stop compelled.
The old man near the traffic light,
Asked the driver –may I wipe?

He had a gentle voice and even stride,
Erect back and manner polite and mild.
Now this was his new means of livelihood,
He hoped to be paid to pay for some food.

Sahibs waved him away on their way
Down town, gearing for charades and play.
A little girl offered the man her lunch box.
Their eyes met, he looked flummoxed.

I lost my grandpa early last summer,
He went without having his supper.
You remind me somewhat of him.
Although a bit thin, she grinned.

They laughed, tears in their eyes
He took it with a bow she waved bye.
She turned and called back, Dadu
Will you be here tomorrow too?

The old man near the traffic light
Said, sure dear, I’ll be here all right.
Turned heavenwards, saw a bird alight
A rainbow walked the earth in day light?

He unabashedly cried, cried and cried,
‘I had thought my tear glands had dried’.
He wiped his face on his shirt sleeve,
A rainbow on a dreary day, I sure do believe.

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