The Flower Girl of Delhi

Bare to the bone

in tattered garb

freshness of adolescence

on my face

I stand amidst the traffic,

bouquets of roses in my tender hands––

red, yellow, pink and white,

picked up from the nearby graveyard;

waving, begging, hoping

someone would buy my flowers.

Oh! a cab driver beckons me,

bargains, I plead,

take my flowers.

He pulls me nearer

I jerk back  in disgust;

my clothes torn,

flowers scattered,

I gather myself,

then flowers

and start again––

pleading, hoping.


From The Seduction of Delhi by Abhay K. (Bloomsbury India, 2014)