#8 Remember

>> November 21, 2013

Do you remember, how it was
when you first moved to the city?

Do you remember,
how shocked you’d been
 by their sheer numbers?
You made the slow progress, however,
from surprise
 to pity and then,
 to studied avoidance.
You learned the unspoken rules-
make no eye contact, you told visitors-
 you admonished the weak-hearted,
the ones who’d surrender
to hungry eyes and
desperate nudges.
You spoke of teaching men to fish,
unsevered limbs and lazy dole-outs,
and yet, sometimes, in moments of frailty,
your fingers jangled, looking
for loose change,
and you reached out
to gingerly drop your quota
of karmic goodness,
making sure, of course,
that nothing touches.
Still, you approved of industry,
helping those who help themselves,
you bought plastic bubble-makers
and flashy ear-rings you wouldn’t wear.
You sympathized with the limbless,
the homeless, the helpless,
you read the news,
and you remembered
the bright block-buster movies,
when you saw the blinded children.

When you first came to the city,
you watched and observed,
and learnt, like them
the tricks of the trade,
the giving and the taking,
the begging, the beseeching,
the reluctant surrendering.
And slowly, the years went by,
and slowly,
but naturally,
you stopped noticing
and wondering
or caring;
but they
are still around,
in the city,
begging and besieging,
taunting and teaching,
just like they did you.

Header Image
Courtesy: Vladstudio

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