Sab Ko San Mathi De Bhagvan

By Ravi Panamanna

Among the streams of refugees
He was a boy of nine.
From the winds of Lahore
It was an exile forever.

He reached a refugee camp,
Life was that of a tramp.
Freedom at midnight was a chain
Hopes were nearly slain.

But in a stream he survived,
In a Delhi Haweli he gained his roots.
In the rehabilitation process
Time showered upon him grace.

At the Pahargung slot
His life presented a simple plot.
A small shop, a sparrow’s nest,
For decades that was his living chest.

Woolen clothing and home appliance,
For people, the corner was a paradise.
Generations knew him well,
He spent his days in that gentle wind.

He was like a banyan tree,
His life was an open creek.
I was a regular visitor there,
When winter arrived, I needed his sweaters.

In his presence
My moments were graceful.
He would unfold his life-
A story of struggle and endless strife

On a dark day, a few years ago,
During the festival of lights
In a blast around that part,
Shedding blood, he left this rueful earth.

As I peep into his shop now
I see his widow, face very serene.
It is clear her silence speaks volumes,
It seems well she has pardoned the world.

As I leave the shop with candid feelings
A Bhajan reaches my ears.
“Iswar Allah Tere naam,
Sabko san mathi de Bhagvan*”.

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