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Mainstream, VOL LVIII No 26, New Delhi, June 13, 2020

Lessons in Humanity | AK Das

Saturday 13 June 2020

The sun beating mercilessly over head;
hot, dry wind blowing, scattering dust;
highways vanishing into hazy distance.
A backdrop, bleak, inhospitable!

Poignant pictures from the exodus
of migrants walking, hungry, exhausted
on their long journey back homes.
They are labourers, dispossessed.

A woman carrying her belongings
and her pet dog on her shoulder;
a man moving with a hen and a puppy,
clasping them with his both hands;
a young boy stopping, giving water
to his rabbit to quench its thirst.

Dire times of extreme adversities!
They could have abandoned their pets.
But they took them along, trudging
the arduous trek in scoring heat,
leaving a few lessons in humanity.

Man is in danger of being stripped
of his selfless, borderless expanse,
shrivelled, wrapped up in oneself.

Yet, his inner spirit unlocking itself,
rises above keeping just himself safe,
soars into the orbit of human kindness,
spreading wings of love, compassion.

A.K. Das, June 2, 2020

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