The platform

The train moves in, slowly
And vomits the weary crowd.
The platform fills and empties
Within minutes.
But no one notices
The old man who sits behind the bench
In tattered clothes, unwashed long beard,
With a vacant look in his eyes
With half eaten food lying beside him
On the dirty platform floor.
But it was only a few years ago
That he had come to this town,
On such a train, that summer afternoon.
Fever, delirium or anger of the gods
Had blanked him out,
for months, or years.
The old man remembers the day
When he came to, and had gone back –
Gone back to what he had thought
Was his home. Only, he had no home left.
Those whom he had known as brothers
Beat the love out of him, and turned him away.
Since then, he sits on this platform
In his corner, quiet, blank, playing the madman.
When they abuse him, when they throw
Half eaten food near him, he remains quiet.
He knows, it is a small price to pay
To have a home.
When the high officials come to survey
They ignore him –
They are guilty about their helplessness,
Guilty for being more blessed than him.
Even the mangy mongrel
Does not bark at him.
The old man sees life passing before him
Every day. The families
Protective of their children, the businessmen
Careful of their purses, the old women
Who waits for her grandchildren to come
To take them home – he sees all, silently.
He is a silent philosopher – what other kind is there?
He is thankful of the crumbs thrown at him
And for the roof of the platform.
He knows, playing a madman
Is a small price to pay
To have a home.

About Abhishek

I will let the blog speak for itself...or, at times, for me. View all posts by Abhishek

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