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I have seen them -
seen them standing by the busy roadside,
an invisible 'For Hire' board hanging over their faces.
Poor yokel, seduced by the glitz of the city,
their complexion tanned by the indifferent weather,
but the sweaty faces outlustring gold.
They are, but outlanders.

I have seen them -
seen them trying to overawe their shameless hunger,
yet stoically poised to face being
pooh-poohed by the 'sahibs'.
Though not always innocent,
but yes, always upbraided and looked upon with disdain,
by the same sahibs.

I have seen them -
seen them with nude awe dancing in their eyes,
when dandily dressed, they throng the local hats,
buying trinkets for dear ones back home -
stopping at each stall,
feigning extravagance.
I have seen them -
They are, but outlanders


More By  :  Ragini Puri

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