WALKING WITH YOU

Varghese Pamplanil

 

 

 A viral picture taken by PTI photographer Atul Yadav showed a migrant worker sitting on the roadside and crying on his phone. Identified as Bihar's Ram Pukar Pandit, his one-year-old son passed away and he was unable to see him. Ram Pukar used to work in Delhi and he tried to return home but was stopped at the UP Gate. (Image: PTI)

 

Let me walk with you, lonely migrant,

Let me walk with you, lonely migrant,

trudging all the way to where you came from.

 

I am  a homosapien just like you and the others too,

linked by common  gene of mother, aeon long.

blood brothers we, born in a valley afar, science says,

dark, brown, short and squat, weighing little.

We popped up, by unknown chance, bio-accident.

Unremarkable, among billions on this earth.

 

Our existence is insignificant in overall scheme.

We remain at the bottom rung of human domain,

just pawns in life’s chessboard, of no consequence

No merit to boast,lumpen, unseen, unmarked lot.

We walk with our heads lowered, breathe earth's dust.

Uncounted, lumpen, abandoned and ignored.

 

Let me limp along with you, in this life's sojourn.

Me senile, effaced, breathing hard for precious air.

Too weak, a nudge makes me fall aground hapless.

Yours and mine unshed tears unseen, let it be so.

 

Your plight seems worse than mine,at a glance.

Your pain seems more excruciating; it could be.

You walk on and on to where you have sprung.

Seeking blood kin in some faraway forsaken nook,

You aim to die in mother’s lap and her soothing touch.

Lest your corpse be dumped into a ditch in disdain,

devoured by hungry dogs rampaging the streets.

 

 A child of a migrant worker drinks water as his mother holds him while waiting in a queue for transport to reach to a railway station to board a train to their home state of northern Uttar Pradesh, after a limited reopening of India's giant rail network following a nearly seven-week lockdown to slow the spreading of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Ahmedabad. (Image: Reuters)

 

May I join your walk, just for a while; in my spirit.

I see you walk barefoot on hot steaming asphalt,

No water to quench your thirst; empty stomach.

You are too far, far away and beyond my reach.

The morsel I have, I like to share; there’s no chance.

 

I see you stumble and fall and crawl on all fours.

Yout cry muted; no sound; your parched throat.

My unseen brother,yet I see you crystal clear;

etched in my being, raw and bleeding,  indelible.

 

I have no more words, ink dry in my pen; nib broken.

So let me  tarry a while, my lungs gasp for air.

May meet at yonder road, let us keep hope alive,

or may remain unknown in Einstein's energy  pool.

May become formless, no pain; no more whimpers.

 

                    **************************

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