By Roopam Mishra
A Charitable Destitute
Her house lay empty
So did her life, vacant.
Running like roots
There were cracks on the floor,
A cloud of cobweb above.
There were cracks on her skin too
And, a million fragments of her hopes.
The window panes were broken, and so were her teeth.
There were serpents beneath the banyans, outside,
But of those, her heart bore none.
Life deceived her, she had lost love.
People deceived her, a failed career.
Dementia found her
In whose arms she stayed always.
Clothed? Scarcely ever.
Well fed? She didn’t know hunger.
Sheltering birds, rodents, and beasts,
Living in penury she was the most charitable of all.
Feels like over-priced gulab-jamuns*.
As much I strive to save,
And seem equipped to savour
Your capitalist heart hikes the price,
And I return dejected,
Saving up again,
Dreaming to gorge on
The delicious, syrupy dumplings,
Tomorrow, when I have better means!
*gulab jamuns – A fried Indian sweetmeat
Ms. Roopam Mishra lives in Lucknow, India. She is a Research Scholar at the Department of English, and Modern European Languages, University of Lucknow. Her area of interest, and enquiry is theatre, performance arts, and aesthetics in the new millennium. She writes bilingually, both in Hindi and English, from the age of thirteen.
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