“Else, we would be late for the Mangal Pooja”.
His wife tugged nervously at the flowers,
She had gathered as an offering to the gods.
Her face was red with accusation,
Not just against the frail rickshaw puller,
But also against her husband,
“I told you not to hire this man,
He hardly has strength to pull,
Let alone pull with speed.
We shall have the curse of the gods
For being late for the Pooja”.
|Pic Courtesy: Allianz Knowledge Site|
The City of Joy,
Mother Theresa’s adopted city,
Was as unkind to the rickshaw puller,
As ever it used to be;
he could have been a slave under the British yoke.
Pot holes and filth on streets were not enough
To chastise the rickshaw puller;
It had rained heavily and hence,
He stood behind the pulling bar
In knee deep squalid water.
He had promised his family of three children
And an ailing wife, food,
After two days of starvation.
Their hope of meals, on the seat behind him,
Blasphemed him with all their might
For making them late for the prayers.
I saw the sweat on his muscles,
I saw the wetness of his brow
As he tried in vain to get the wheels
Out of the unseen ditch.
I thought how wretched was the man,
How cruel was life for him;
Could anything be worse?
And then, I looked at the couple on the seat.
Fuming and fretting,
Cursing and abusing,
Little did they know,
How close they really were,
To your temple, O God!
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