At The Verandah

Pu La Deshpande Udyan, Pune.

She watches the sun rays weave through grass

and smiles feebly when people pass.

Her eyes, so full of wizened belief,

hope and wait for a unique relief.

Her silver hair twist up in a bun,

her brown skin’s lightly tanned by the sun.

The folds of her sari, graceful, neat,

The jasmine in her hair smells sweet.

Her hands are tired and wrinkled but eager.

Her dreams and wishes are simple and meager.

But at the verandah, her watchful eye

spots him at the corner and shines with joy.

A solitary figure, not much to talk.

But quick are his hands and quick is his walk.

He ruffles through his bag as he prepares to greet;

he walks a few miles to make his ends meet.

He sees her waiting, watching his coat

and swallows a lump caught in his throat.

He knows her laugh, her cold, her fire,

the simplicity of her burning desire.

With a smile on her lips, she watches him come.

He likes sweet laddoos*; she made him some.

As a mother of five, she knows her role;

she prays for him and blesses his soul.

He opens the gate and walks up to greet.

He smiles at her and touches her feet.

She goes in and gets him a glass of water

and a bracelet to go with his dear own daughter.

He settles at her feet and looks at her face.

Patience, he deduces, with motherly grace.

He knows, suddenly, he should not wait long;

she deserves to hear the “elixir” song.

Amma*, may God bless your thought and deed,

your children have sent you letters to read.”

September 2007

Pu La Deshpande Udyan, Pune.

Laddoos- sweet balls, made of rice flour, nuts etc.

Amma- south Indian term for “mother”.


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