Midnight, June 5

 

II

The street opposite is closing down.
There is a hotel run by a Sri Lankan.
They offer us some advice and free smiles,
We leave, carrying our bags that rattle on the
Well-worn pavement and reach the corner
Hotel managed by a Bangladeshi.
The young man offers us seats and comforting words,
While my son tries the numbers of the B&B.
Although homeless, despite reservation, we get
A sense of family under the long shadows of the
Warm night in a deserted city square, among
Different ethnicities and potted plants on the side!

 

III

At the mid-night hour drags slowly,
The city remains still alive in bits,
Groups of migrants from South Asia
Congregate in the opposite park, smoking,
Cursing;
A few Italians come out of the nearby theatre
Loud and talking like gregarious Asians,
We find some affinity on this odd night.
They are discussing Pirandello,
Over coffee and cigarettes standing in a huddle
On the pavement, keeping the lone Bangladeshi
Busy.
Culture, nostalgia, migration, communication: all coalesce in one
Colourful moment on that pavement
Outside our overnight accommodation still denied!
Home, yet not home!
We feel the pain of the vagabonds.

 

Sunil Sharma

Sunil Sharma

Sunil Sharma is Principal at Bharat College (University of Mumbai) at Badlapur, Mumbai Metropolitan Region, India. He is a bilingual critic, poet, literary interviewer, editor, translator, essayist and fiction writer. His short stories and poems have appeared in journals such as Hudson View (South Africa), The Plebian Rag and Bicycle Review (USA), Creative Saplings, Brown Critique and Kritya (India), the Seva Bharati Journal of English Studies (West Bengal), Labyrinth (Gwalior) and Poets International (Bangalore). Some of his poems and short stories have been anthologized in national and international collections. He is also a freelance journalist and serves on the advisory boards of international literary and online journals.

An author with 18 published books: Six collections of poetry; two of short fiction; one novel; a critical study of the novel, and, eight joint anthologies on prose, poetry and criticism, he is a recipient of the UK-based Destiny Poets’ inaugural Poet of the Year award—2012. His poems were published in the prestigious UN project: Happiness: The Delight-Tree: An Anthology of Contemporary International Poetry, in the year 2015.

Sunil edits the English section of the monthly bilingual journal Setu published from Pittsburgh, USA

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