head covered with a dust-encrusted and torn saree
sits on the street of a suburb of Mumbai.
Decrepit, body bent
a picture of desolation.
Her worldly possessions--- three tiny bundles.
Only companion, a stray dog
whom she calls her son and though
she often cries hard, the stray
wags its tail and licks her
withered visage, its eyes innocuously
looking at the hot tears, flowing down
a leathery skin.
It is a daily scene witnessed by a girl-child.
The rest of the town is praying
and fasting for the blessings
of the Mother Goddess,
she never was.
Sunil Sharma is a senior academic, literary editor, freelance journalist and writer from Mumbai, India.