Sunil Sharma, 2/3/2020
Former Occupation: Vice-principal
Contact Information: Sunil Sharma is a Mumbai-based senior academic, critic, literary editor and author with 21 published books: Seven collections of poetry; three of short fiction; one novel; a critical study of the novel, and, eight joint anthologies on prose, poetry and criticism, and, one joint poetry collection. He is a recipient of the UK-based Destiny Poets’ inaugural Poet of the Year award—2012. His poems were published in the prestigious UN project: Happiness: The Delight-Tree: An Anthology of Contemporary International Poetry, in the year 2015.
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A worker and conservator
A migrant from South India
some place there
nobody is interested in
the man speaks in an
a worn-out smile
due to the daylong hard labour
under a canopy of a small shop
in the expanding
sells lentil-dough for making
crisp idli to the working women
waters few plants
on the divider of the broken street
revives the saplings
planted by the municipal corporation
and forgotten afterwards!
The wandering January morning comes to put a blanket of fog on New Delhi—the hub of the Indian power and other moguls—now attracting migrants of all hues.
From the barred window can be seen the outlined figures shuffling around mysteriously in the direction of the dump, obscured.
Then pop out of this moving grey curtain, waifs, startling the detached viewer, at the window—
Three semi-clad urchins with plastic sacks bend their slim backs.
The trio scavenge the debris of the parties held in various apartment blocks
Of that pricey neighourhood.
They bounce with elan on the bare concrete,
smiles not diminished by the cold wind, and, unshod feet.
After retrieving, they cheerfully pass on a bottle of Coke rescued from that
source of their daily food and livelihood, as a family of the excluded and the deprived, in the midst of the plenty.
A Happy New Year to the Great Republic!