• Rahul Mahesh


This is about an incident that occurred on a warm day in Hyde Park, London. I met this frail gentleman, considerably disturbed as I sit binging on a book indisposed. This is about a short lived moment I had with him. It made me wonder how impactful certain moments can be and how scores of people walk by us and how each of them on encounter might connect on certain visceral level. I knew nothing about him and he of me. But that split moment was intriguing.

As I sit udder the tree,

In silence and repose from the world.

I see a man walking close by,

Seemingly lost and distant from life.

He mumbles and moans softly,

As he silently reminiscence the city in its glory.

Talking to himself as he rests on the bench,

He sits in peace without much anew.

I’d like to fantasise his stories,

Where has he been? What has he seen?

The man groans as he begins to pace again,

The noise of age-old Methuselah. (Biblical)

Amidst the bustle, here by the bench;

I thus meet someone akin.

The stories that are seldom shared,

His eyes seem to speak of such history.

We do not talk, he glances on to me,

I am not alarmed, I am but unnervingly calm.

He slouches over me, breathing and heaving,

His pale blue eyes, an ocean of timelessness,

His face wrinkled by the burden of yore,

His thoughts seemed lost in incoherent mumbling.

He knowingly glances away, maybe he sensed my discomfort,

I know not why but he did smile.

As he walked away, I realised;

There was a calmness in his smile.

A sense of relief, for having someone to share,

A still and silent moment of knowing joy.

The moment thus passed,

I returned to my book and my world far away.

I heard he met with Peace again,

Amidst the bushes by that bench one cold, damp London night.

To the strange man on the bench,

A kinship I’d never feel again.

Someone I never knew or seen before or henceforth,

Spoke words that hath seldom been spoke.

Incognizant of life and times I see,

People passing and moving by,

Seldom do such lost souls feel such happiness,

But on that day I did and I can live with that singular moment.

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