Children On The Streets Of India

The girl of twelve told me,
A different but then the same story,
That boy of four told me,
His idea of what life should be.


But I different from them,
And yet the same.
Couldn't understand that life's game,
Couldn't even spare THEM,
These very newly arrived, happy and eager ones.


Their laughter, giggles and grin,
Their baby souls with hardly a sin,
Would eventually face such challenges,
That even many adults wouldn't.


These were children of another reality.
But these children were just like others,
With conditions laid harshly down on them,
And called to live up to them,
If they could.


The pavement children of India watched,
The world swirl around them.
Yet they were not a part of that motion.
Their own world stood still, every minute and hour.


These children's eyes looked far away,
That was not a child's mode.
These children's eyes looked hungry,
For that food in that beggar's bowl.


I stood next to them,
I sat next to them.
I looked at them.
Then I did not looked at them.


I looked at them.
They looked at me.


Then for that one quantum which seemed an eternity,
My heart's soul shrieked.
Walking away from them,
Never resolving their angst,
Not knowing how to.


I now saw from the
Salty wet curtains of my eyes,
A small boy running to me,
With arms full of garlands and presents.


He with no possessions,
Bestowed gifts on me.
He with no possessions,
Smiled and smiled gleefully.


With the hugs he received at the airport's tarmac,
I turned my back to him to board my plane.
Back to the U.S.,
Never again to be the same.



Then returning a year later with toys,
Candies and smiles for India's children again.

by Vera Sidhwa

Comments (5)

The children are innocent and pure. They are such a treasure. one who meditates on their hopes and try to understand their vows is a heavenly person. they beg to live on the streets of india. These little ones are our future, why are they being ignored by the society at large.? i was in tears when i read your poem dear poetess. through our writings we shall make conscious of these crucial problems of our society. thank you for this eyeopener. thank you again. you are doing a holy task. tony
These children's eyes looked far away, That was not a child's mode. These children's eyes looked hungry, For that food in that beggar's bowl. Verily, a heart touching poem, You are indeed a compassionate person. ........................10
This poem touched my heart with it's tender compassion and feelings for these children of India. Their innocence and purity is such a treasure to everyone, even though they themselves have nothing except for what they receive from begging. This is a major travesty of humanity to allow this to continue, these little ones are our future, why are they being ignored and cast aside? ? Your words have pulled at my heart and brought tears to my eyes, there must be a way to bring hope to these children of India, besides the pittance they get from begging. Big business needs to start helping, because they have caused this problem, this is so wrong morally and ethically. Thank you for sharing the plight of these innocent children. May people open their eyes and hearts giving aid to them, teaching them to find a way to better their situations, they don't want handouts. Thank you for portraying this horrendous situation so delicately in this poem. RoseAnn
A sweet, sad poem of innocent precious children. God help them all! Hugs, Marilyn
When you speak of the truth, it hurts a lot..Our children on the streets, begging, selling and living on the streets. Just ask your government what they want from India by setting up whole sale outlets and then killing our millions of small business holders..By doing so, the children of the people who are at the lowest rung of the ladder will be pushed down on the street to beg as you have written here..