ROOP REKHA BHASKAR
The Beggar - Poem by ROOP REKHA BHASKAR
A beggar limped with arms outstretched
His voice more worn, than the clothes he wore.
Ammaaa….. Dharmaaa he wailed, raking his stick across the ground.
Peering as far as his eyes could see, into our house.
He spied me standing with books and all.
My heart went woeful as no money had I
Just a compass box in my bag, to school.
I dawdled and glanced at my mother occupied,
To give alms, or old clothes, for the homeless man.
But baffled was I, when from the kitchen I heard her shout – Be gone ….
You roam and thieve through the night. Go now…..” she grumbled.
But this poor guy? why? Pass him clothes … something?
Slyly I paced to the door, motioned to him, like I would a guest,
Uttered faintly “go to the back and wait.”
Paused for mother to walk out of the spot,
Then quickly piled a cup of raw rice
And through the window … swoosh! Dumped rice, mug and all!
No proof left I, but she knew of this deed
Yet did not mouth a word or lecture.
Again next day sauntering he came to our door,
Again his mournful song rang, Ammaaa……..
This time the ‘rice trick’ would not work for me.
Quickly collected a few paisa’s; to 30 they all amounted.
Pleased, stretched out the coins to him.
Passive, he let the change drop to his muddy palm.
Looked down at them and then sneered at me;
Startled was I! to see his expression break.
He flung the coins wildly inside our door!
Rolling beneath the sofa, right up to our cat inside.
And snarled, “I’m not a beggar. Give me notes! ”
I was stumped to the ground.
The soulful Dharmaaa……rang again.
Not a word from mother but laughter loud!
Confounded, why I stole and gave,
A pound of rice to a heartless beggar,
To pound me in return for this! ! ? ?
Poet's Notes about The Poem
This is not because i want to pen my might, but to share the scene between a beggar, my mother and me. I think i was 12 years then. I find it quite funny now. Acknowledge my gratitude to Valsa for bringing this memory back. Thank you.
Comments about The Beggar by ROOP REKHA BHASKAR
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