Jul 5, 2007

Try it!

Have you ever tried talking to them? Have you tried playfully asking them nonsensical question when they come begging to you, like you do normally with kids? And have you had the fortune of seeing the smiles on their faces?

Project Care, conversations at the sea side, smiles while I am walking, talks in the train... lots of times and lots of smiles I can remember.

I say, TRY IT. Its worth it.

The smile that was still there

A ragged pair of shorts on the plump body lay
debating whether to fall or not,
tousled hair more like the styles of today,
dark skin contrasting with the cream interiors of the local train;
staggering steps automatically finding their way.
Approaching you as soon as you are seen taking a bite
from your food, the lunch leftovers,
Hovering and staring, eyeing the bit,
Trying to pick it from your very fingers;
Not asking for money no whining no crying,
Not even a frown, no beggar seemed he,
Walking aimlessly without a word spoken
Just looking for something for a starving tummy.
Used to the urchins wandering in the trains
And stopping the gush of pity that flows,
You just hand over the food to him
As he grabs the offering, reminding you of scavenger crows.
You watch as he gobbles
And are filled with a feeling so different,
It’s pity, though not so distressing,
Sympathy – with more of compassion,
Sorrow – for the state, the extent of wasted lives,
Happiness – for having removed life-taking hunger,
Wonder – at something that so mysteriously arrives,
All mixed up somewhere deep inside,
None ready to subside.
The food is over, but the hunger lingers,
As he looks at you with grateful hope
Though he knows he can’t get any more.
And then he looks at you
With eyes that strike,
Sad, tired, yet twinkling,
Black and beady and uncannily bright;
And then you see the sign, the sign that says it all,
A smile of brown and disfigured teeth,
A smile despite the hunger, despite a lack of reason,
A smile, that has innocence hidden beneath.
Ten years of life or maybe more
Was what it took for that being to be so,
And was the time worth it
When now he has to forage for a meal, a leftover bit;
Yet, the smile is still there…
A satisfaction strangely soars,
A still it is, no picture perfect,
It haunts you, flashes often, out of nowhere,
Humbles, reminds, touches a chord
The smile that was still there.


1 comment:

Apoorva said...

beautiful :) .....the empathy conveyed is beautiful...