On my way back from Silchar, India, where I participated in the Anuvad Arts Festival (more on that to follow), I had an 8-hour layover at Indira Gandhi International airport in Delhi, where I read the poems of Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) and scribbled some drawings inspired by them on the blank spaces in my flight information printouts.
I HAD GONE a-begging from door to door in the village path, when thy golden chariot appeared in the distance like a gorgeous dream and I wondered who was this King-of all kings!
My hopes rose high and methought my evil days were at an end, and I stood waiting for alms to be given unasked and for wealth scattered on all sides in the dust.
The chariot stopped where I stood. Thy glance fell on me and thou earnest down with a smile. I felt that the luck of my life had come at last Then of a sudden thou didst hold out thy right hand and say ‘What hast thou to give to me?’
Ah, what a kingly jest was it to open thy palm to a beggar to beg! I was confused and stood undecided, and then from my wallet I slowly took out the least little grain of corn and gave it to thee.
But how great my surprise when at the day’s end I emptied my bag on the floor to find a least little grain of gold among the poor heap. I bitterly wept and wished that I had had the heart to give thee my all. Continue reading