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The Cleaner – Dr. Ramandeep Johal

The cleaner who comes to my office

doesn’t know, what I do.
He peeps into the waste-paper basket,
where lie my diurnal mistakes, torn apart
and hard to fix. He doesn’t care
how whiteness was soaked by black ink, silently
he ignores the cacophony of symbols on the board.
He too uses the same tuck-shop
but stays clear of the debate raging over tea:
“You cannot talk physics to a cobbler,
that is impossible here”. I wonder if he knows
-a poster in the corridor is about how to see
a solar eclipse. I wish to tell him that
he is hiding a moon in his pocket and
in the story of evolution, he is included too.
He lurks around like the common man
in the cartoons by Laxman; reticent,
staying clear of our passage, but
perhaps not missing our flip sides.
But he might be absent from the scene
when we let the public in on Open Day.


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