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#BehindEveryFace – Start Counting

START COUNTING

He walked faster and faster

the train was leaving

he found his spot

in the corner amidst cartons of food for the travellers

but what was he?

His mind trying to count his money

His fingers too less

At the age of 9 many did not know money

Children believing in the magic that brought them goodies

But he knew better

For he had prayed and begged with the magical

Begged for a different day

For he felt paralysed unable to move

His existence so same everyday

Broken noses can break again and again

Black eye almost part of the memory of his face

 

Black eye painful yet seeing was not

Shattered face but mind intact with the colours

The colours he painted with hope and dreams

The thrill of the kite he made

From trash paper and his mother’s stolen thread

It wasn’t much

It wasn’t bright

But it flew taking his heart with

Then the days were not same

His magical stories changing with his beating heart

Foolish counting of the stars and chasing each other

Round and round

His broken nose still reminding him of a coming rain

His black eye still seeking the hidden flawlessly

In a game of hide and seek

 

The train jolted him out of imagination

There was a commotion in the neighbouring compartment

He peered slowly to find a boy around his age

The boy looked at him like one of the movies he’s watched

Movies of young boys with shoes and toys and an unbroken face

He peered closer until he fell out of hiding

The other kid came running to him with awed eyes

Displeasing eyes of the parents lost

Lost as these kids discover each other

Not through the eyes but their hearts

A little ragged

A little well groomed

But in their minds one has already started counting

As the other rushed frantically searching for a place to hide

One boy and another

While searching for a glimpse of the bright t-shirt

And new shoes of his new friend

He wondered ‘what is his story’?

 

Childhood can be uniting

Imagination running wild like rivers waiting to meet

Yet when they do its all the same

Childhood is a gift

For some it is their only one

Only bright spot

Only colours bringing warmth

As he sleeps nursing the pain of brokenness

Look beyond the brightness yet instead

Look at their efforts at being children

Look to listen

to hear the cries they’ve muted out of hopelessness

there is a story #behindeveryface

behind the broken and the unbroken

unmute their cries

stifle their hopelessness

it isn’t about looking anymore

hear the cries and the stories

for every kid has one that will tell you tales

one #behindeveryface

 

POEM BY 18 YEAR OLD NANDHITHA BABUJI

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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