A Warm Handshake

By Gauri Mishra 


A Warm Handshake
                        White clouds of steam rising as I exhale,
The cold chill of a December morning,
                      A nip in the air, clothing in layers
Cold, half-clothed children on the sidewalks and
                     Half-burnt fires dying out amongst people in flocks
How different it was – from the warmth of my Mother’s place
                     Where everyone was free to have his own space…
Home-baked cookies, warm coffee mugs,
                     Playing carrom on warm earthy rugs.
Ah… to be home again was my earnest wish,
                     Swimming in strange waters, was I a goldfish?
Turning a corner, I spied an old man…
                     Huddled in a blanket and braving the dust of every passing van
He looked ancient, face full of wrinkles
                    But in his eyes I saw a twinkle…
He gestured me to come near,
                    In my mind I was nervous, but there was no fear.
His cold rough hands held a few marbles
                   Shiny, sparkling pieces of marvel…
A crimson red, a sea-green blue,

	A blazing yellow with a purplish hue
My eyes gleamed, as he emptied his treasure
Joy knew no bounds; I was full of pleasure.
Suddenly home was right there,
                   In all its brightness, lovely and fair…
Living alone in foreign lands,
                   Away from home, lost in timeless sands
What make life enriching are such chance meetings…
                   A little joy, a shiver of thrill and 
A gay abandon for my heart to fill…
                  Misery too had its glory and happiness was in every life story.
How did he guess that’s all I needed?
                  An endearing smile…a warm handshake
No rich offerings, not cookies nor cakes
                  I understood then…what life has to offer,
Sometimes comes as a surprise…
                 A beautiful sunset, and a warm sunrise.

Dr Gauri Mishra is teaching as Associate Professor in the department of English at College of Vocational Studies, University of Delhi. She likes to dabble in some poetry and short fiction from time to time. She is very passionate about teaching and also heads the placement cell of her college.



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