A Dying Man

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He will die soon
Hands are shaking,
Cannot talk,
Cannot recall his customers
Skin creased
Drooping on his stool
In a dull evening

He has two daughters,
One married,
One serving the customers
And when she finds a known face
She makes him wait for a minute
And messages her father’s dry limbs

Nobody is at home,
Who takes care of him?
So she takes him by her side
Like a child, wherever she goes

The shop was bought
When he was a boy of twenty
A tin shed, a sack of rice,
A dozen of soaps,
A few packets of bidis

Carefully built big
Year after year passed,
People find now a to z
Under its roof

Beside the gutter
Rested on the shoulders
Of his shop-boys
He is urinating, unsteady,
One unzips his pants
Other takes him by breast

Let the people of all faiths,
All creeds, all languages, all ideologies,  
All nationalities, all geographies,
All isms watch the dying man,
Urinating by the gutter
One boy is unzipping his pants,
Another is holding onto his breast  

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I write because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, said George Orwell. As a writer, I never kowtow to the whims and dictates of the sacred godmen or godwomen, the political bigots and hypocrites, dealers of laymen, the dishonest and self-serving intellectuals, traders of religions, the betrayers of ‘other’ Indians who eke out a living by their sweat, who are living in fear for being lynched for this and that.

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