Second Going (Resubmission) - A Tearful Tribute to Mahathmaji
At the prime junction,
Where three roads converged,
They set up a statue,
In mortar and cement.
The Mahatma in loin clothes,
Supported on a staff,
With spectacles on nose,
Stood erect on the pedestal.
The oldsters passed,
Bowing their heads.
The youngsters dashed,
Screeching their horns.
The kiddies paced,
Staring at the outlandish figure.
Exposed to sun and rain,
Covered with smut and dirt,
Stood the Mahatma,
Staring at the passing crowd.
Crows perched on tonsured head,
His shoulders stained with bird droppings,
Never once had he a cold shower,
His soiled mien, resembling a clown.
Silently witnessed many a brawl,
Blood and gore dazed his eyes,
Ghastly scenes constantly unfurled,
Street urchins, raiding trash bins,
With stray dogs that greedily devoured,
Every bit of morsel, left uncared.
Everything around looked dismal,
Save the sly politicians in starched white,
Home spun ‘Khadi’, camouflaging their self,
Itching palms, needing constant greasing.
Congregated they at the Gandhi Square,
The day prior to 'Gandhi Jayandhi'.
What should be the agenda……?
They waxed eloquent.
Consensus never reached,
Each faction with an axe to grind,
Speechless stood the Mahatma,
A fiery spirit possessed his self.
When night descended,
When darkness filled,
When the town clock tolled, the midnight hour,
He descended the pedestal in silent rage,
Off with the staff! With sturdy gait,
Never casting a backward glance,
He walked in haste……….
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Poet's Notes about The Poem
By embracing a life of voluntary austerity, Gandhiji revolted against the mindless materialism which he feared would strip the world bare like locusts. But to the new generation, he is reduced to a mere statue, erected here and there. Among the hypocritical ideological factions, he is just a name for playing political gimmicks. Those who have some goodness left in them cannot but mourn this devaluation