L. S. Bajpai : Distinguished mediaperson; one of the leading poets of Hindi; writes poems, lyrics and ghazals with equal felicity; has participated in several national and international Poetry Meets and Festivals; has published 4 collections of poems.

Those People

Those were the people who
with tiny boxes filled with fine sugar
would go in search of anthills.

They would scatter seeds on terraces
for birds to feed on.

They would get troughs of water
made outside their houses for
thirsty animals passing by.

And before eating their own meal
They would set aside a portion for cows and other creatures.

They wouldn’t let anyone pluck a single leaf from the trees after sunset
lest the resting trees be disturbed.

They would start conversations on their own
and ask strangers for introductions.
They would heartily help those in need

and if someone asked them for directions
they would gladly
escort the person to his destination.

And if at some odd hour a lost traveller
happened to come to their door
they would provide him with
food and a place to rest.

Maybe such a species does still exist
in some remote village or hamlet
I wish it were possible to create a museum for them
So that generations to come would learn that

This too was a way of living.