The Note

A crumpled piece of paper at mercy of the wind
Finds its way to my feet as I sit on a wooden bench.

I look around, try to find someone who has lost it.
People walk past me, some talking on their phones,
Some, in a hurry to reach somewhere -
The fast pace of life, unaffected by the crumpled piece of paper - and me.

I pick it up and unfold it, spread it out neat on my lap.
It is a letter, I realise. Written on an expensive paper,
In a shaky yet beautiful handwriting, and perhaps with a costly quill.
Sad, its destiny was to be crumpled and to be left at the mercy of the wind.

To the one who had enough time to pick up and unfold, it reads
Thank you for sharing the time from your life,
Out of the many feet it must have touched,
Only a few must have picked it up, unfolded and read -
You being one of them.
This is a gift you must cherish.

I, who spent my entire life running fast with time -
Earning money, sharing less, caring even lesser -
Write this note while on my deathbed -
Waiting for the end to free my soul from the tired bones.

For all those who picked up and read -
I say a prayer to God for your good life
And request you to make the call and lessen my burden.
For all those who let it lie at their feet, I feel sorry.

After you finish reading, crumple it again and leave it to its destiny
Let it kiss a few more feet and bless those who take it in their hand.
All my life when I had the chance,
I never cared for anyone, never had any good thoughts -
And now, as I prepare myself for the last journey;
I share good thoughts -
Somewhere, selfishly wishing for good thoughts in return.

I crumple the paper again and let it drop to my feet,
Only after memorising the number meant to be called.
I see the note being carried away with the wind
Going unnoticed by many hurried feet.
Hoping, somewhere someone might have enough time to read.

I call the number and a gentle voice greets me
Congratulating me for being selected -
Give me an address to go to and collect my money
A small drop from the ocean the old man left behind.
His attempt, I realise, to lessen his burden.

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Books by Arti Honrao

Depression is REAL

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