I took a cab ride to see a friend today and ended up gazing far too long at the lit windows of the buildings on my way. The thought that behind every window is probably a person with a life as complex as my own moved me and I had to write it down, so I did. The word for this realisation is ‘sonder’.

I am on a ride across the city
just as it’s settling in evening slumber.
A glimpse at its skyline is making my heart
curiously seek and wander.

The tiny, lit windows of the beautiful horizon
that make up all city lights
are spinning tales all their own
as they tower from their great heights.

Behind the bright window at the top
is a grandma looking for her glasses.
Behind the window twice below
is an artist looking at his canvasses.

Behind the top window of the opposite building
is a prayer’s diya, flickering.
Behind the dim-lit one three storeys below
has a lover on phone, bickering.

While here, let’s also see a lamp
in the window on the right,
it has a writer trying to finish
her half-written poem on ‘Plight’.

I am not seeing a mere skyline
for there is no such thing.
Every speck of light in these city lights
is a story ready to sing.

Every person behind has got a life
as complex as any other.
The skyline is a giant array
of what the poets call ‘sonder’.

And just as I am looking up there,
a person got bored of stars
and is now looking below instead,
wondering of people in passing cars.


Copyright © Neha Sharma