Where Will You Go When You Die?

The Best Birthday Gift In The World

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Charu and Abdul
Were their names
Two street urchins
Born on the streets of Mumbai
Destined to die there
Hungry and lonely
Or in some jail
For crimes they
Never intended to commit

Where Will You Go When You Die?

But were forced to
Just because of the state
They were born in
But that was life
Life of street urchins
Not just in Mumbai
But all over the world
For the world was truly
A miserable place to be in
For most people in it
For most people today
There was only misery
Sickness, ill health

Where Will You Go When You Die?

Lack of money
All that was there
Was worry and more
WORRY
For most people
In the world of today
Charu and Abdul
Lived on the streets of Mumbai
With their parents
Or so called parents
They did not know
Whether they were actually
Their parents or not

Where Will You Go When You Die?

All they knew
Was that they had
Been living with them
Since they could recall
Charu and Abdul
Would be forcefully
Woken up at 5 AM
Day after day
By their so called ‘parents’
After some tea
And dry chappatis
Had been had by them
They were driven out

Where Will You Go When You Die?

To go and beg
If they did not return ‘home’
With a good sum of money
They were beaten up
And made to sleep
Without night food
One day
While returning ‘home’
From their daily ‘duties’
At around 10 PM
They were passing by
A huge bungalow
Colored lights all over

Where Will You Go When You Die?

Music blaring
Charu and Abdul
Stopped outside
The huge closed gates
Of the gargantuan bungalow
They could see the lawns
And people making merry
Inside the gates
Then out of nowhere
A small girl appeared
Inside the gates
She must have been
Around 6 years of age

Where Will You Go When You Die?

She looked like an angel
In a silver baby pink dress
A golden crown on her head
Silver shoes and red lipstick
Beneath a cake smeared mouth
She smiled at them
Charu and Abdul
Looked at her in awe
As if she was something
Not of this world
She offered them
Her birthday cake
Saying it was her

Where Will You Go When You Die?

‘Happy Birthday’ today
Before Charu and Abdul
Could say anything to her
A man came and
Pulled her away
She looked back at them
Her birthday cake
Fallen to the floor
Inside the big gates
Then she vanished from sight
Charu and Abdul
Looked hungrily at
The slice of fallen cake

Where Will You Go When You Die?

They were both hungry
After toiling hard all day
Begging on the vicious streets
In the hot summer Mumbai sun
They tried to reach
For the fallen cake slice
But it was out of their reach
They looked around
For a long stick
To try to drag the
Fallen cake slice to them
But they could not
Find that either

Where Will You Go When You Die?

They started to walk away
Looking back hungrily
At the slice of fallen birthday cake
Lying out of their reach
As they walked away
Charu asked Abdul
What is ‘birthday’?
Abdul tried his best
To explain it to her
Saying it was the day
A person is born
Charu asked Abdul
When is my birthday

Where Will You Go When You Die?

Abdul bhaiyya?
Abdul had no answer
For he knew not
When Charu was born
Truth be told
Abdul did not even know
When he was born
Abdul said quietly
Charu didi today I had
A surprise for you
But I will tell you now
I had brought something for you
And was going to give it to you

Where Will You Go When You Die?

Before we went to sleep
As today is your birthday
Charu looked at Abdul
SURPRISED
Really Abdul bhaiyya?
Today is my birthday?
Abdul nodded
Charu said
What is the surprise for me
Tell me now Abdul bhaiyya
Abdul reached into his
Soiled half pant pocket
And pulled out a
Very dirty piece of paper

Where Will You Go When You Die?

Slowly he opened it
As Charu watched in glee
Inside the soiled paper
Was a Motichur laddoo
Abdul had stolen
From a roadside shop
He gave the ladoo
To Charu saying
Happy Birthday Charu didi
Charu hungrily grabbed the laddo
And ate it in a jiffy
As Abdul looked on hungrily
Keeping quiet and watching her
Then they both walked ‘home’
Or to what they knew as ‘home’.
They would sleep
On the pavement
The night sky
Their blanket
And the moon and the stars

Where Will You Go When You Die?

Would sing them
A sweet silent lullaby
And they would fall asleep.
Have you ever received
A birthday present?
Or any kind
Of present?
Did you like what you
Were gifted?
Why did you like it?
Or perhaps you did not like
What you were gifted.
If not, why not?
Have you ever stopped
To think to be happy
With whatever you get
And not complain?
Most people are never happy
With what they have
Or what they get
They always crave for
More and more.
Most people forget
Most people in the world
Have nothing at all
And still they live
From day to day
Struggling in pain!
Stop being selfish in life
Make a difference to the world
Start today…

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