They walk in together – two little men

A toddler and a six year old

The little guy holding the brother’s shirt

unbuttoned, dirty, crumpled at ends.

Their worldly belongings in a polythene bag

they hold on tightly to one another.


No mother, nor father minds their step

Experts at being their own grown ups

Two little kids in a crowd of adults

Aberrations on that busy platform

Begging aboard the crammed coach

hands fused, they tentatively find their way.


I have seen their likes abound

On platforms, trains and busy roads.

Nonchalantly negotiating red and green lights

Selling toys and  books in old school robes.

Shuffling through mountains of garbage

for broken remnants of discarded childhood.


Browned by the sun and city dust

they sleep under torn bits of hoarding

of ‘stains are good’ and ‘sleepwell mattresses’.

Unperturbed, we go on with our lives,

wrapping our children in silk duvets;

white noise blocking unwanted sounds.