A truth I will never forget
Two in the morning riding a hornet liveried taxi.
The Tarmac rests from the burden it carries
from sunrise to sunset.
Lounging on the backseat like a renegade raja
breathing post monsoon atmosphere
laden with indigenous spice.
A human tick sucking the nipple of India’s economic miracle.
Strictly for the benefit of a far away entrepreneur.
A red light ahead, the driver stops.
We wait for green in the sleeping city.
A shadow beneath the wall stirs
merging into a stick insect dressed in rags.
The miracle has passed him by.
A digit-less body supported on a Mango branch
stands at the open window requesting help
in the language of beggars.
His outstretched arms end in fingerless stumps.
Wondering how he’ll hold my coins, I fish my pockets.
Green light fills the cab, the driver obeys the rules.
l sit in comfort with a handful of unclaimed rupees
looking back at a miracle of life in the middle of the boulevard.
I’m gifted with a picture that will stay in my eyes all my days.
He’s been there a hundred years and will be there a hundred more.