Squandering half of his wages for liquor,
he drifted along the road.
The spade and the crowbar
– the microchips of the poor
were resting on his scarred shoulders.
When the rain-drops from the trees
showered over him in the blowing wind,
he looked up with scorn
and began to sing a sad song.
Fate forgot to take him
to the celluloid world
or else he would have been a singer.
Poverty barred him from jumping beyond
the school, though he was the brightest.
When he reaches home
he will hear his son reading
‘mouse’ and ‘monitor’
– the computer jargon
and fall into a sweet sleep.
When his son wakes him up to eat
the spell of drinks will have gone;
and in the shine of his son’s face
he will keep his life throbbing.
“KALAIGNER, the wisest of the Tamils
has laid cement roads in our lanes
but digital highways from Chennai
to all the bright spots of the globe;
Where the sons of the poor will tread
till they reach the streets of New York”
he will murmur and feed his son
with love and affection.