Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Ragpickers

The Ragpickers 


Blessed are those
who can carry on eloquently
about how a dog crosses a street
and how the cutlery looks graciously
as it is placed on the table
or displayed in the showcase.

Certainly the privilege
of drawing little joys
and unlimited laughter
is denied to those
who can only talk about
some unique dilemna
some unsettling
undefined moods
and moments,
some unseen,
hidden facets
of the goings on.

Pity on those
who are left
thinking,
brooding,
analyzing
about people talking
spontaneously
indulgently
natura lly
about the antics of the dog
or the fine curves
offered by some new outfit.

II

The habitual ragpickers
left wrapping up
the materials of decorations
of bamboo sticks
and chairs
thrown about chaotically
amidst the stale smell
of rotten food
and used paper-plates
after the actors have left
after the audiences have clapped,
if only they
could go home
leaving behind
the unpleasant job
of delivering the materials back
after tallying
the missing items
and those at hand.

Blessed are those
who can carry on eloquently
about how a dog crosses a street
and how the cutlery looks graciously
as it is placed on the table
or displayed in the showcase
to move on
for another show
throwing words behind their back
to be collected
by the rag pickers.

First Published in 'Indian Literature', March-April 2005, New Delhi (Sahitya Akademi)