Tuesday, January 26, 2010


In my childhood I often came across old deserted women and men sitting on the road side and begging for food. Most of them once belonged to some good family. I once saw a man begging but he looked well educated and smart. I occasionally would talk to him and one day found that his son was specialist in medicine. These old people would sort of wring at my heart and I would feel very sad and helpless. I was afraid someday I will be different and forget all these people. I was afraid that someday may be I will change into one of those uncaring kids. I felt helpless at not being able to do much. I found solace in the thought may be their end is good and peaceful. I wanted it to be so. Here it is for you to read….This is something very close to my heart and it means a lot to me. I must have written this when I was 17 yrs old… back then I at least had some hope but today at the age of forty four I feel sad, miserable, helpless and also without hope when I see the deserted old people on streets. I did not turn into one of those ungrateful kids.. but also I have never done anything exceptional to help those people.

An old woman; in dirty tatters she was clad
Her wrinkled face even when smiling looked sad
Though her five children were now well off
All they managed to give her was just a scoff
Rumor was she was bad tempered and threw tantrums now and then
So keeping her with them was insulting for her children
All of them, whom she had once carried in her sack
Were not bothered now seeing her womb kiss her back
How easily they forgot she had fed them from her breast
They couldn’t remember for them she had given up rest
Now in her time of need they chased her away
Their clever brains decided with them she can never stay
Driven by hunger she begged around
Parched and broken lips parted yet came out no sound
For months and months no comb no oil touched her hair
If we called her rags clothing, it wouldn’t be fair
Her wrinkled skin forgot what is soap
Yet she had something left in her. She had hope
The hope that someday God would send a kind soul
Other than this she had no other aim or goal
Though she never saw God, in his kindness she believed
With respect to the life he had given her she continued to live
If not begging one could hear her whisperings
Looking up at the skies and calling upon the king of kings
Under her breath sending him her only prayer
To show a human heart; which of kindness had a layer
But nothing changed and the monotonous days passed by
Till a night came with not a single star on the sky
Sleeping under an old banyan tree the old soul shivered in cold
She tried warming up by rubbing her hands but found them feeble and old
Everything about her was worn out and she needed help
Her heart cried now, because now she couldn’t help herself
The cold stormy night lit in her heart a burning desire
To save her from cold only if only someone would light a fire!
To her surprise in dark she saw someone with light
He was a handsome lad whose smile filled her with delight
He looked pretty and innocent like a blooming flower
Sitting beside her and talking kindly he lit a bonfire for her
The fire burnt and made the cold woman warm
She looked at the lad and wondered at his charm
Suddenly she realized she was hungry and famished
The warmth disappeared and her smile vanished
The woman unable to speak just pointed where trouble stood
And slowly whispered whether he had with him some food
He opened a bag and delicious dishes he spread
To the content of her heart the old lady he fed
Satisfied now she gratefully looked at the lad
Something on her face said her heart was yet sad
Holding her hands the young man said “consider me your son
Mother, even now you are so sad; please tell me the reason”
He held her dirty body in a comfortable embrace
The lady looked at him, doubt written all over her face
She said, “Only one word, you have to tell
Child, are you a human or are you an angel?”
“Mother” said he, “In such a way why do you scan
I assure you I am no angel but just a simple man”
The old woman now smile written large on her face
Lifted her hands upwards and sung her lords praise
She thanked him for at last He answered her prayer
And sent a person who could love and care for her
“My parents” said she, “to love me never came forward
When married I had to put up with a drunkard
I thought my lovely children were my consolation
But truth is bitter and they turned out to be my worst delusion
So my lord I longed to see a person to me who could be kind
Today in human form my longings here in front of me I find
Humanity is not lost, it can’t be surpassed by
As you have proved this to me, in peace now I can die”
Saying so she lay down as drowsiness began to creep
Soon the young man saw peacefully she lay in deep sleep
He slowly stood. His face was now firm
His appearance changed and he glowed like a glowworm
He looked at her sadly and as he spoke his face fell
“I said I was a man, but truth is I am an angel
If you had not asked from selfish man for kindness
I wouldn’t have landed myself in this mess
If you had asked for health, beauty or power
Gifts of it over you I could shower
Even richness, wealth and realms of gold
If asked I could have paid you in hundred fold
I could have easily laid at your feet any nation
For that matter anything from dear lords creation
But you asked for a gift which is impossible to find
How can this selfish human heart be kind?
A person who would care for an old street woman
I searched everywhere but I found none
Alas! To fulfill your last wish I had to lie
For if not consoled thus, in peace you wouldn’t die
Forgive me lady with you I played foul”
Thus saying the angel of death took away her soul………………………..

By Farida Rizwan

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