Day and night he toiled,
Much before the sunrise,
His day would begin..
Minutes before midnight,
As the cool breeze wiped away,
The sweat on his brow,
He retired home..
A few hours of sleep,
On a crumpled muddy floor,
Before his next day’s struggle would begin..
Delicate, beautiful and fragrant,
Flowers he sold for a living,
But, could never afford to offer her,
A single jasmine “gajra”..
It was her birthday the next day,
The whole day he struggled,
Collecting varied scattered flowers,
That’d fall off from the customers purchase..
Before the dust or footsteps,
Could crumple their beauty,
He gently collected them with love,
And put them in a bowl of water,
To keep them fresh and blooming..
That night, at 12, she was spellbound,
Receiving the most precious ‘gajra’,
Lilies, jasmines, roses red and pink,
Tears brimmed her eyes,
As he lovingly adorned it around her balding hair..
Next morning, she never woke up,
Succumbed to death by cancer,
A content smile lightened her face,
Knowing her last wish, was so lovingly fulfilled..
Note : A ‘Gajra’ is a flower garland worn around the hair by women in Asia.