Friday, August 19, 2011


When I look at the steep steps
I have to climb
Before I can near
The less steep ones
Leading to the shrine
I feel as tired as a trekker
Facing one more stubble-rock
To clamber up;
They have a name
For this stretch too
The shin-twister flight
That tests pilgrims on foot
A veteran of the footpath
Who has taken me along
Tells me like a coach
"You have to take it step by step
Not count how many more there are"
After every five I want to sit down
Relax my muscles to keep away the cramps
It is getting more and more
Like doing sit-ups at a stretch
My guide is hardly breathless
Looks as cheerful as when he started
I don't know what vow he is fulfilling
For me it is merely a tryst
With the undulating hills
Where my father saw his father last
I have come without any prayer or vow or wish
How do I know what to wish for
If he doesn't know what I need?

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