He sits in a corner of the alley
Dirty and gaunt, with a begging bowl
That doubles up as a saucer.
He has more scars on his thin face
Than there are streets in all of Delhi;
He sits under an old peepal tree
That is like him long past its prime.
The brown city has choked the lungs
Of every tree that once stood here:
Now only the peepal remains;
A few robins have built their home
Among the thin leaves and frail branches;
The cars and buses are oblivious
To the music of the little birds:
Only the beggar hears, and joins in.
He laughs and seems to dare everyone:
“I have my song. Come and take it”.