Tuesday, 28 July 2009

2. The Son of the Soil

The hard, strenuous life is not for me
And Ive always shunned all labour and toil
That being as it may be
I still wish I was a son of the soil.

As a toddler he played in the puddles
On the track that led to my farm
As I swerved my car to avoid him
He smiled at me without alarm.

Ive seen him walking to school
The wind blowing rain in his face
He's barefoot with a well ironed shirt
Completely at ease in his place.

I pass him by in my car
Insulated from the wind and the rain
and the dirt and germs and the people and pain
and my country and its lovely refrain.

Ive seen him standing at the tea stall
With his cutting chai in his hand
With chappals that have never seen a mall
He's at ease, he belongs to the land.

I pick my way through the garbage
Looking away from the beggars I pity
He strides by with a spring in his step
A villager at ease in my city.

Ive never seen envy in his eyes
and I see him every now and again
He knows he knows and hears what I dont
Our country and its lovely refrain.

I have much and seen many lands
An interesting life without toil
And every moment Im back in my country
I wish I was a son of the soil.

-Yours Truly.

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Twisha Mukherjee said...

It's a beautiful work. Apart from the perfect rhythm, the whole thought is beautiful.

Anonymous said...

Awesome poetry.. showing depth and understanding. I know a lil boy like that too. He grew up and became a rowdy but there are many happier stories.

nivedita said...

hey.. that's really well written..beautiful imagery...don't you just love india with all its flaws? i would never want to leave...btw are u still in bombay? i have joined my new job. no facebook allowed here and no net at home.. so been out of touch lately.. will try and send my number to u on facebook.. get in touch if u are in the city...


Juhi said...

the feeling of having wanted to be at one with the earth?

yes, I've felt that several times.

watching the gardener clip the lawn outside the building while standing in the cabin of my ultimate boss...and envying him.

wanting to dig my toes into the mud (or the sand, if it was a beach).

climbing barefoot to a place of pilgrimmage because the ground felt soothing.

wanting to give it all up to buy a cottage in provence and grow marrows in straight rows(a hobby of hercule poirot)? yes, but can't afford that!

perhaps it was nicer when people were cavemen.

Psmith said...

@Twisha : Thanks

@Crowscious : Thank you, and yes Im sure there are happier stories. Unfortunately, I dont know any of them...the person I speak about is not one person but a patchwork of images in my mind...Im sure such people exist though.

@Nivedita : Glad you liked it :) I would never leave either....but but but ! I love coming back, and leaving is necessary before one comes back :) I sent you a message on facebook....check check !

@Juhi : A cottage in provence ! Id rather have a cottage in Leh, Nainital, Guhagar, Munnar......indians and indian food, cant live without those :)