A voice recorder for taking notes,
while I drive around the city;
A city with street lights as bright as day,
you can never see the stars clearly;
A city where there are no lights in the aluminium-tin house with the plastic-wrapped bamboo roof;
Home for the family under the flyover.
A memo on my cell phone,
while I walk on the side of the road;
Paved concrete, smooth as silk,
a few potholes here and there;
Roads where they sell their hand-made “Panni” brooms
and graveyard flower bouquets.
A pen and a pad at home,
to write and compile what I have already written,
in the memo I made when the child on the street learned to grave-rob;
From the recorder I used while he remained without an education, illiterate;
When I sat on my desk in darkness, frowning at that old, dusty study lamp.
What use are these notes, the pen and the poem?
to the child who never learned to read.
By: Viraj Belgaonkar