! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Finally Got My Just Dues! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Heaving a sigh
Of great relief;
With reverence
I tied my manuscript
And wistfully
Smiled to myself.

Took it to a publisher,
Who had promised,
He will have a look.
As I knocked,
He peered, eyebrows raised
From his glasses resting
On his nose.

Cast a cursory
Glance, Hm… poetry,
This won’t sell.
I gaped
Incredulously,
And asked with
Temerity,
Pray, why not?

Don’t know,
But it’s out of vogue.
Then why don’t
You just close shop,
I said outraged.
Why, do you know
Writer’s like Chetan Bhagat
Keep me afloat.
He too has quit
His lucrative job
At multinational bank,
Writing can pay,
If you write, what sells.

On my insistence,
He condescendingly
Gave in.
Ok, if you insist
Let’s go ahead;
One condition,
You take them all away
And you pay.

Seeing my work in print,
Tears rolled down my chin.
My childhood friend,
Who managed a book shop
In the next block,
Put them on display.
After a few months
When none was sold
I told him,
Just pack
And brought the carton
Back home.

Next day called,
The raddiwala
He said four rupees a kilo.
I nodded,
Took out a few
For old times sake.
He left,
Handing me a fifty rupee note.

One day, on a cold afternoon,
Feeling lost and forlorn
I sat on a bench in a park.
Nearby an amorous young couple
Bought roasted peanuts in a paper cone-
Eating, laughing and roaring at some joke.
Was almost tempted to
Take out my pen and pad,
But then gave up, a bit sad.

Before I knew
The boy went on his knees
And began to recite
A poem from that
Piece of paper.
The girl was visibly
Delighted and impressed.

Yours truly,
Too felt duly
Proud
And smiled
With tears in the eyes.
A young couple
Sipped from my word wine

Finally got my just dues…
Walked back home,
A little unsteady
On my feet.
You see, I too
Felt a wee bit tipsy…


Raddiwala- a man who earns his living by buying old books, magazines, newspapers,
And sells it to a middleman who recycles the same.

by Mamta Agarwal

Comments (3)

mam...lovely...poetry i think is god's language...just like in nature..man wants it for free
'And the song from begining to end I found again in the heart of a friend' HW Longfellow the 'arrow' found the 'oak' where it remained 'unbroke'...message well brought out...10
dear mamtaaji i know your pain behind every word. this world is getting simplified too much and the want 'word' too like that. chetan's pulp will sell, but poetry won't. the crest jewel of art is thrown out like waste. if world cannot understand you, how can they understand sandra? for a writer internet offers at least freedom and money free publishing. if one like minded soul reads a poem at least from a collection, it is worth. never get disappointed. keep on going. donate a copy to all schools and colleges in delhi. awaiting a copy of your second book. love premji