Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I spot her from a distance

Shriveled skin, crouched gait
Silver mop, bow legs
Short stature, tiny frame
Who is this stranger on the road ?

Old clothes, her only pair
Scorching sun, her constant friend
A rattan basket, her permanent sack
Why do we cross paths ?

Blistered feet, cracked soles
Stretched ear-lobes, wrinkled nose
Stooped neck, skeletal arms
What a fragile sight ?

I come closer
She gives a toothless smile
A smile so warm and  genuine
She is so beautiful !

People in this part of the globe, usually commute by cars and walkers generally restrict themselves to beaches and parks. But being a lazy soul, I prefer walking in my neighbourhood on the main road. My only companions are the speeding cars.

So I found it quite unusual, when I once saw an old lady walking on the road I use. She appeared very poor. Her slippers were worn out and resembled a crescent moon at the back. Her basket was heavy, but she stubbornly refused any help from couple of  four wheel drivers who stopped by to offer a lift. When our eyes met, her sagging mouth opened up for a wide grin. I felt so happy. She initiated the smile. My instant reaction was to embrace her, but my inhibition stopped me. Many people have smiled at me before, but she had such a loving smile for a stranger. She seemed to me the most beautiful person I have ever come across. Her smile lingered on my face for a long time even after I crossed her. It was a precious moment for me. I have seen her walking couple times after that and every time she smiles, I find it infectious.

I am trying to capture that moment through a poem.


  1. I have experienced this same reaction myself and it has always stayed with me.

    That smile was one of genuine happiness and came straight from the heart, not forced like the ones I'm used to seeing. True beauty indeed.


  2. You captured the moment better than any photo. You convinced me, I think she's beautiful too.

  3. you piece reminds me of my grandma.

    beautiful capture of her indeed.
    thanks for sharing.

  4. Beautiful...You have really captured the moment touchingly...Maybe she is radiating love with innocence...that is why it is infectious....Wonderful description so that we can get deep into the poem...
    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Andy, happy to know that you had similar experiences. Nothing makes us more happy than a genuine smile.
    Thank you.
    Henry,thank you so much for your appreciation.

    Jingle, I am sure your grandma would have been a beautiful person and her smile still lingers in your memory. Thank you.
    Rashmi, thank you so much for all your kind words of appreciation.

  6. Wow! That is such a great thing, and writing is all about expressing, you do a commendable job at that. Nice one!

  7. beauty may not be only physical, it can come from within, from the heart. thanks for sharing this heart-warming post.

  8. Lovely .I really went into your poem and enjoyed what you said :D

  9. Well written! A brilliant tale. She deserves respect and admiration that old woman of yours!

  10. How the little things can impact our lives, thanks for the message. Enjoy the rally!

  11. Only people on foot cross paths often; I wonder how we would be if we all used a car :)


  12. So touching =) I am so glad there is someone who recognizes true beauty and not just the manufactured kind

  13. Beautiful capture. I could visualize the lady through your words.

  14. What a sweet poem about a beautiful soul. I could see her sagging mouth becoming a bright smile for you. Lovely.

  15. Thanks you all for all your wonderful words. Means so much to me.

  16. A genuine smile from a stranger can sometimes turn our day around.

    you have a really good heart my dear.
    It takes beauty to see beauty.
    Keep seeing beauty.