Tag: #citizen

Watch “SECRET GULLY | THE BOY WITH NO NAME (Pt .2) | Little Lights” on YouTube

Inspired by a real life 5 year old I met one monsoon at a school for slum kids,

you’d never forget ‘Raju’ the school called him. His folks called him ‘chokra’ for street boy. There was no hatred at his home, only the face of poverty, the numbing face of sleepless days and nights. His parents were construction workers.

When Raju first arrived in a pair of oversized torn shorts, shirtless and with eyes like tiny thunder, he wouldn’t speak. I was story telling art teacher; we did some fun things, enacting Jesu in the boat. Raju loved being the storm.

By the third day we knew he loved drawing – with one crayon, the black one. He drew thick circles in black, then some more. Pages of black circles.

I was recovering from 3 years of a fever no one could diagnose, it could’ve been anything, but I was there every morning as a part of my own ‘get well’ project;

It was, is an unforgettable thing – to experience that sinking feeling of instability, physical failing, & be in a ‘Gully’ that thick with hope.

Lil Raju and I became speechless friends as we learned the power of blue against black, or orange with grey, yellow with maroon. He called me “didi”, big sis.

Every morning he was there, waiting for Art class, and drama, in the street opposite the tea shop.

On the last day I ever saw him he clutched my hand and said, “Didi mujhe ghar leke jao” (didi, take me home)

I loved him with all my heart, and I couldn’t take him home with me. There were at least 50 others like him but ofcourse Raju was the one no one liked. He was full of lice, his fingers were quick, he knew how to steal, he understood the street, he was scary to most. To me he was that little baby boy I couldn’t take home. But forever and ever he lives in my heart.

The boy with no name” is a fantasy offering that has little pieces of my own life woven in its prayers for joy, for all our streets, infested with poverties of more horrific proportions than we could’ve guessed. Do watch if you have the moment: return to childhood, listen again to that Still Small Voice that ceaselessly whispers to the heart of a child within us, or around. If there’s a kid (or kiddy- like human:) in your home, or neighbourhood, do share. This is the second episode. (Part I, U tube, also below).

Wishing you ‘The Light of the World.’

Shine, k?

Episode 1.

I’ve loved You before but not how I love You now…

India, soil of my bones: song of my soul. Heal my darling One who birthed my verse, my hunger, my thirst…

Digiart.RN


Stay safe.
Be loved. Don’t be suspicious
of love. It’s all we’ve got in these days of war and crime and lust for hate. You are my Beauty, my core. Don’t leave now, don’t change.
Please stay,
don’t change what You taught me when I was growing.
Don’t go away, into what could so easily re- arrange Your face ..India: Blood of my pulse,
my breath, my core: only You know who You are,
in the skin of our Dust, our streets thick with stories only You sow.
Here the rich the poor the seeking living dying breathing decaying flowers, bloom –
here distinctions, colors fade retrace our tiny large rooms. Here we congregate, we sing we dance
we laugh we pray we say we are humans, we are one;
oh I’ve loved You as a child, but its nothing
like how I love You now….
Yesterday.



You are every woman in the street,
You are the aroma of things that reek the justice of the meek, the strong, the wronged,
You are the joy of waiting garlands, the tears of our fathers’ mothers in lanes ‘neath these pavements we walk, who knows what lay beneath here,
eons ago…?

Flower vendor

Who knows what root these flowers know,
Who knows where they will go?
Where do lilies and mogra and champa bloom, what river drew its dew
Which mountain fed its spring
What hands untiring, wrapt each in cellophane and string… from which field of jute, or factory of human hands, from homes I’ll never see,
but they are You, and me,
entwined as if we breathe the same air,
as if we eat from the same field, we do we do,
why then do I now & then ache
anew;
I was once a child, now I’m grown, I know how a mother knows the things she doesn’t know but feels in her bones,
in all the mist of dust, there is love,
whatever else goes,
there is the deliberate stubborn existing persistence
of Love.