The Mother

Samarth Narayanan

The tiny little infant lies abandoned,

On the edge of a box that lies within a foul-smelling garbage dump,

Against the side of the main road,

Where the uproar and the music of the throngs,

Had all but faded away;

 

This tiny little baby girl, barely a day old,

Lies balanced against the compound,

Seemingly staring up at the moon in the sky,

Maybe lost in the sudden silence that had come about,

As the last of the drummers drummed away into the distance;

 

The inquisitive eyes of the abandoned child spoke to the stars,

As the onslaught of the rain had ceased to be,

And the pitter-patter sound that rained off the edge,

Of the building beyond the compound,

Was the residual water droplets that fell down,

From what had once been rain,

Turning black as they fell against the puddles of water behind the wall;

 

As the frequency between one pitter and another patter,

Slowed down to a nil,

The disappearance of the rhythm was ad nauseam,

And the baby started to cry;

 

A veiled figure appeared as the sky turned from black to purple,

At the edge of the horizon, at the end of the street,

And the figure appeared to be hurrying,

As it carried what appeared to be a bag,

And hurried along, disappearing and reappearing,

As the light between two streetlamps,

Struggled to find congruence;

 

Soon, the figure appeared,

Hurriedly pulling off the veil,

Her sari had draped over her face,

And she let it flutter behind her,

As her arms grasped the tiny baby,

To her bosom, numbing its cries,

And her bangles jingled that familiar sound,

And the baby opened its eyes again;

 

And if we’d zoomed in, we would have seen,

The tears that had dried against her face;

 

That day, a mother found herself at the railway station,

Clutching her unwanted child against her bosom, with one hand,

And with the other, throwing a crisp five-hundred rupee note,

Against the counter to buy herself a ticket

To God knows where;

 

As she echoed her sure-footed steps,

And the last train pulled out of the station,

She was soon gone with the wind,

Willfully leaving it all behind;

 

The now empty station had a man who appeared,

Running at breakneck speed, sweat falling of his face,

Where seeing the empty platforms, he sunk down to his knees,

And cried for his lost wife, and the child he had thrown away,

Yes, he had Loved her with all his heart,

But in the end, what they created together,

Had torn them apart;

 

He went back home, and the only thought that followed him,

Was the question that began, ‘If only…?’

He knew he would never know the answer,

And he knew he would never Love again,

For the only human he Loved, had run away;

 

He wouldn’t look, he wouldn’t cry,

His expression tightened like steel, before he stood up,

And went back home to the parents that had wanted,

A son.

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