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The watch

Thunder rumbles, followed by light 
Illuminating the inky night, 
Raindrops pound on my window pane 
And through the merciless, driving rain 
He walks alone, shielding his eyes 
From bullet-like drops falling from the skies. 
His whistle sounds like a distant wail 
Carried hither by the howling gale. 
Gusts of wind tear at his shawls, 
But he walks on, for duty calls... 
Not a single lamp, not a single glow 
Not even accompanied by his shadow.


This poem was written on a stormy monsoon night in New Delhi. As I lay awake in bed, glad to be sheltered, I heard the whistle of the watchman pierce the rain. Exact date unknown. Added to the archives later.