Invisible and ‘independent’

Eyes shining with thwarted hope
Darting and seeking absent compassion…
Who or what gives him the power to cope
To face his mornings with zealous passion?

The body of a compellingly scrawny child,
Urging onlookers to slam on him a vitamin injection,
But the face of a determined centenarian,
Set with the firm lines of continued dejection…

He carries in his fragile arms the country’s flags…
They Symbolize the triumph of justice, some claim…
The mind wonders – are they also deprivation tags?
Marking the curse of the hungry, the poor, and the lame?

The boy keeps at his task – knowing not the price
That he pays to enslave his days to being a hawker,
Being blissfully ignorant, maybe aware it is folly to be wise,
Adorning the role of the frenzied traffic signal’s car stalker…

His focus on selling one more flag,
His goal to survive one more day,
Trying to add one more buck to his bag,
He screams “Saaar! Buy one! It’s Independence Day!”

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3 comments

  1. Pathos, perfect for our country, India. But I hear it is worse elsewhere. At least our boy will smile and laugh; in others I am told, even the smile has been wiped out by poverty. Jai Hind! Whatever!

  2. Indeed, for him, there seems to be no independence from hunger, bread or roti. Lucid flowing lines capture the real pathos of the situation. Great RCB!

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