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

Some more of similar writings..


  1. Hey, I normally don't leave comments but I just thought I'd let you know that this blog is great. I write too, but I can't
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  2. Farida, I loved this so much that it brought tears to my eyes! How easily these old people are forgotten about.
    Big, Big Hugs.

  3. That was beautifully written and very touching. It brought tears to my eyes. It is so sad knowing that it is reality and it does happen. Since many of my previous co-workers are doctors from India, I was aware that this frequently happened. It is so wrong to abandon old people like that. You have a pure heart and are such a special person. Even though you think you haven't helped you really have. You are bringing attention to it by writing it here and someone may read it and make a difference in an old person's life because they were touched by your words. ♥ ♥

  4. What a touchig post !, Farila, my heart aches every time I see or read about elderly people and not only abandoned or neglected with no hope and care. They are too many in the world. How sad that makes me feel.
    love and hugs

  5. Very very moving. I do believe in angels, Farida. I have met several of them in my life, and I know they come here for a reason - to help in some tiny way to fix the wrongs of this world. Just like the angel in your poem, they won't tell us that they are angels, even if we ask. And maybe they don't even know it themselves. But they are real. And they do make a difference.

  6. This is truly quite moving.. and I believe that there are angels in disguise among us. Sometimes we just realize it too late when the moment is passed.


  7. Thank you so much everyone.. Your opinions have comforted me so much. I was really feeling quite depressed after seeing a helpless man begging for food and being scorned by many people. All I can do is provide two or three meals and that is nothing much. I chanced upon something I had written long back at the same time. I feel so helpless not being able to do

  8. Amazing poem.

    I think you're now one of my favorite writers.

    I love the ending. And I don't think it applies to just desolate people on the street.

    There is so much coldness in the world. There are so many people who reach out for human kindness, and end up getting nothing or way too little.

  9. i really hope all those who are reading ths blog shud understand how important parents are in life... !!!

  10. Farila, I am so glad that I stopped by here, finally back on track, and what do I find, a poem so beautiful and touching, i feel blessed to know you.

  11. Dina.. I agree with you. You can just replace the old lady with anyone nowadays.

    Divya - I hope the message goes through.

    BOB- Just came over from reading your wonderful payback post and I am so glad you are back.

  12. Farida, this is a great poem that pulls at your heart strings. I like poems that are taken from real life. The ending is so sad, that the angel had to lie because no one would help her. You have talent.

  13. Hey thanks for all the great information on this blog. I don't have a blog yet but I'm writing for a website right now. I'm just very new to
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  14. I tried your links last time but could not read them much because they are not my kind of articles.. I am so sorry about that. But let me see when you start a blog... I hope we can connect

  15. You are still the same caring, loving person at forty-four that you were at seventeen.
    Your very expressive words are still the same-you have the same heart.
    But there is a different reality now. Needy people will always exist, but our responses and actions change depending on what's going on in our more mature lives.

    I believe in angels, too.

  16. was a wonderful story...usually i hate long posts and poems....and this was a combo of both.....but when i started....OMG ...i didn't even stop or blink i think.......

    this was wonderful......there are many poems which make jealous....and you can count this as one of them..... i hate poets's a real easy job.....but pulling off something like a great job......

  17. I have no words to praise this fabulous poem. I was gripped by this post,

    This is so wonderful...

  18. Touching! Very nicely written! Thanks for sharing!

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  19. It would rather be unfair if I have missed this one. Because, somewhere deep in me I too felt like this once, but now I am a part of insensitive lot. I feel pity, I want to help, but I have to chose to ignore. It is choice which is rather burdened upon us from that very angel himself.

    Your poem is nicely and honestly written.

  20. WOW Farida...A heartfelt poem...sometimes I too wonder why we have become so aloof from other people's pain!...hope her soul has found peace now.

  21. Brilliant ... the way it exposes human nature is great and hats off to you.

  22. Its very touching! I could feel your poem!


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