[the poetry billboard] - 'Don't Make Mistakes' by Ashok Gupta
Don't Make Mistakes

Ashok Gupta

When you alight from the train
look for Ramdhun, the rickshaw-wala
Tell him you want to go to chowk and
pay him two rupees no more

When you come to the stream
take your shoes in your hands
hold the rope on the log bridge
or you will get wet

A small walk along the cowpath
and you will reach the village chowk
Ask for Vaidji .Everyone knows him
as he gives them medicines

The village boys will follow you
as you will be dressed strangely
in city clothes
Let them

If you see me playing with other girls
or doing some chores
don't stare or call me by name
They will be shocked

Just lower your gaze
and walk past briskly
towards the house
I will follow later

When you meet Baba
talk about other things
not about us
Or he will think you are brash

When he talks about
the days of the British Raj
look impressed
And ask him to tell you more

If you do all this
and don't make mistakes
he will give you my hand
in marriage