(B - Baba Amte - 1994) The Child who was the Father of the Man
Lives were exploding with gaiety.
It was Diwali everywhere.
For children it is the feast of fireworks.
A spirited boy
His little pockets stuffed with coppers
Darted out into the street
To get more crackers.
Suddenly a shrinking voice
Peeled off from somewhere
And fell before.
The rushing boy
Stayed his eager legs,
Strained his eyes –
A blind beggar with a begging bowl!
A dark and lonely cloud
Suddenly up on a sunny sky.
He saw the crackers
That he had to buy.
He felt his filled-in pockets
And peered into the emptiness
Of the beggar’s bowl.
Pennies were no pebbles
That could be picked up and thrown away.
He stepped forward.
The blind beggar heard
The clatter of pebbles in his bowl.
He shouted: Hey mischievous boy!
Why thus nag a poor blind,
With soil and stones into his hungry bowl?
He then groped his fingers
For those humiliating pebbles
That were dropped into it.
He couldn’t believe himself.
They were all coins
No pebbles at all!
Suddenly a faceless joy
Lit up his face.
Crackers of joy
Burst forth from his heart.
Trickled down his eyes.
The boy stood in a trance.
While his companions
Kept colouring the air with crackers,
This lone boy
A destitute’s joy.
The real festival of lights.
He saw how a flicker of a flame
Could light an extinguished lamp.
He had found his way.
He walked forward
And become the BABA AMTE we know today.
Comments about this poem ((B - Baba Amte - 1994) The Child who was the Father of the Man by Kannan G )
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