Midnight, June 5

Landed in the Eternal City from Milan,
A family of three Indians, wide-eyed, exhausted.
Stuck outside the Bed and breakfast accommodation, denied access,
It is mid-night and the doors of the apartment-house are closed.
We are in a foreign city with no friends, and it chimes mid-night hour;
A sleepy city never looked so strange!

A black appears on the scene — long strides, in a tearing hurry to reach home.
Stranded — not a word anymore.
Standing on the street, bags around, while a homeless white nearby sleeps!
We stop this human coming our way,
He is all ears, presses the buzzer for five minutes, shrugs off
His broad shoulders in apology, nothing happens in the
B&B upstairs; we are stuck.
The suited stranger says Sorry!
We say a common thank you, mister!
He smiles and says: Do not worry! We are one family!
There is only kindness in his eyes, no trace of apartheid.
It can happen in Rome.


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