“Drug Addicts in Delhi” – A Poem and Reflection – Guest Blogger Alice Ellis

Drug Addicts in Delhi

Like charred stumps,
They crouch in groups
Postured to hold each other up.
Bundled in blankets, hats pulled down
Whites of flat eyes peek out.
Cut down by drugs and too spent to speak
The waiting is shrouded in silence.
Until warm rotis* are pulled from clay ovens,
Stacked and handed off to the standing one,
Then ripped and pressed into each hand.
Enough to feed the pulse of a soul
And propel these numb humans
Back to the den to light up again.

*tandoor roti: round unleavened whole-wheat bread


The fun and fascination of international travel are the many new opportunities to season our lives with tasty cuisine, new fashion, unusual sounds, challenging transport, historic expressions of faith, and so much more. Traveling may also introduce us to new places and people that challenge our hearts. In Delhi, India, when I saw groups of young men (20 to 30 in a group) waiting for scraps of bread, I was very curious about who they were? When I was told these young men are drug addicts, I was struck with deep compassion and sadness. These men are sons, grandsons, and brothers. I knew right then a prayer was planted in my heart.

May God have mercy on these young men and bring hope and healing. Amen.


Tandoori Roti, originally uploaded by Aleutia.