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Mainstream, VOL LVIII No 23, New Delhi, May 23, 2020


Saturday 23 May 2020

On a national highway migrants
overcrowding a truck were speeding.
Destinations: their homes
hundreds of miles away
from the jobless, moneyless,
shelterless Covid lockdown.

There were two young friends
in the standing space
at the back of the open truck.
Suddenly one of them fell sick,
giving out a suspicious symptom.
That alerted the other migrants
who forced him to get down.

The other friend refusing
to leave him alone jumped
off the truck to stay with him.
He held the gasping friend
in his lap by the road side,
pleading frantically for help.

That an ambulance came,
took him to the hospital
where he died in few hours
does not end the story.
The inventory must include
the love of a friend
who risking his own life
did not abandon his dying friend.

Who says humanity is gasping,
as the Corona tightens its grip?
Love, friendship are still bonds
shining even in the darkest hour.

by A.K. Das

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