I am a son of a farmer
Who tilled the earth from dawn to dusk,
Drying like a dead fish in the scorching hot,
Wearing the same used rags as beautiful clothes,
No matter where he went; party or palace, bushes or bed.
My mom was a housewife,
Who had to collect a bundle of splinters to build a fire
While she had another baby growing like a watermelon in her belly.
One meal a day would bring a happiness to home,
While rice would be the food of luxury.
I went to school with bare feet and bare body,
Just wearing my underwear,
The cause to be beaten by a teacher every day,
Who knew nothing why I didn’t wear enough clothes.
When I saw my classmate wearing new clothes,
I asked, mom, why don’t have I clothes to cover my body?
She had no rejoinder but tears oozing out from the corner of her eyes.
You have to be a great man, she said.
“My friend who had gone to school
Without wearing enough clothes
Is now a doctor in London,” my father said.
My stomach rattled when not properly fed.
My roof leaked when it rained an hour long.
My house crumbled when a strong wind blew.
My father braved,
My mother braved,
What a precocious child, my teacher praised.
“Gita says ‘work hard never look for a fruit’,” my father preached.
Time flew like a flying horse.
I graduated and entered a college.
My youth was blooming
And many flowers were luring me,
Like Menaka with her naked breasts
Dropped on the earth to distract Biswamitra.
None of them deterred.
I worked hard, harder than a bee
Continuously, unceasingly, properly, patiently
Bit by bit, one by one
Graduated again, became a teacher
Graduated again became a lecturer,
Supported my family,
Plotted a piece of land,
Bought a beautiful house
Which would not leak anymore
Nor tornado would break it.
And came to America to pursue my dream,
Remembering my father’s friend
Who had gone to school with bare feet
“Is now a doctor in London!” (For more, Go to this link. https://www.amazon.com/Running-Dreamland-Tulasi-Acharya/dp/0988733293)
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