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10 May 2004

The Vision

Posted by Pye in Poetry | 2:22pm

Matted hair to yellowed teeth
The usual vision is everpresent
Most people fail to notice
until brown,calloused hand
spreads before faces,
under their noses,
before their eyes
Daring, mocking -- ignore some more!

Casual disregard for the traffic lights
He weaves into the stopped cars
Looking keenly at the sahibs
And gently tittering mem-sahibs
grown suddenly quiet.
Avoiding his eyes.

He lingers for a moment
Passing to the next hardened heart
until the light turns green
The metal river moves around him
Parting for the staff of Moses
A sea of hurrying, uncaring, selfish,
ashamed humanity.

There is this beggar standing at the traffic signal in Nampally, opposite Moorty and Sons, the famous photographers' studio. I've seen him since I was a little girl. He hasn't changed. He looks pretty formidable. Dirty white hair... but voluminous, shoulder length - framing his face. Deep set eyes and broad shoulders, strong build. He has a black shawl wrapped around his shoulders and a stout stick in his hand. I don't remember if they were there when I was younger or are a recent addition. He's got this quiet dignity about him. He doesn't hound you as most beggars do. A slight, negative shake of the head moves him and his accusing eyes on, to the next person. The whole image is pretty forceful and I've been in awe of him for a long time.

Yesterday as I stopped at the lights, I saw him and actually noticed him. A thought ran through my mind - If he had been born a few centuries ago, he could have been mistaken for a prophet.

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3 Comments | "The Vision" »

  1. By JLU

    11 May 2004, 12:52am [ Reply ]

    Hey, cool blog! Nice post n poem too.....

  2. By aloque

    15 May 2004, 12:41pm [ Reply ]

    its a pity how some of the best blogs are read by so few people.
    loved it.
    can't say i give to beggars, but you are making me think.

  3. By Pye

    15 May 2004, 11:55pm [ Reply ]

    Thank you aloque, JLU. Glad you liked it. :)

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