"AtThe Gateway of India, Bombay" 1956 * A Poem by Joseph Alwyn Valu
* Copyright, 2004 by Joseph A. Valu. All Rights Reserved.
Published by WorldWar2Burma Diaries. com
Bombay,where I lived for seven years, will always bring back to me memories of a herculean, but happy, striving in my studies in school and college despite poor health (i.e. three attacks of rheumatic fever, the first in high school followed by two attacks in college,, one of paratyphoid, and an emergency operation for strangulating appendicitis),peronal loss of a loved one, and savage misfortune. It will also bring to me my love of its many splendored folk, hard-working Mumbaites, clamoriing, undismayed to work, on the sides of the electric trains;the speed crazy taxi drivers weaving between cars and cycle rickshaws, and commenting unmentionables under their breath in their little known Punjabi dialect as their New York City compadres do; Kohli fishermen and women, the original inhabitants of the seven islands which were later reclaimed from the sea, and probably the original devotees of the sea godess Mumbaidevi, singing their wares and struggling with their meager lives and catch; and my saintly grandmother who always smiled superbly in her strength, despite the poverty and neglect she suffered at the hands of Fate. At trying times I would sneak away to the seascape near the Gateway and loosen some tensions by flipping stones at the breakers, or mischievously flirting with some office girl on her lunch break. An unmitigated romantic, I'd sometimes write lines,such as the following,to speak to my soul.
I love to walk along the shore Where lovers stroll and breezes blow. There youth and age -- The quick, the slow; The merchants rich -- The beggars poor; The sea gulls circle The watery flow: Are steeped in Evening's Bounteous store Of a hushed, and vibrant Peace.
Copyright 2008 by Joseph Alwyn Valu. All Rights Reserved.