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Mainstream, Vol XLVII No 41, September 26, 2009

Austerity Drive

Saturday 26 September 2009, by Suhas Borker


come share a single course of gruel with me

I shall be waiting outside my hovel

not very far from where you live

to welcome you with a v sign.

come this will help you show up

a mindset that never mirrors

a faceless down-and-under like me

but don’t worry I shall keep

a clean towel ready for you

to throw up my insipid

gruel of salt and grain.

but please come by 6 in the morning

because I have to leave for work by 6.15

for if I am late I shall lose my days wages

and there shall not even be that

single course of gruel for me

to live another day.

please put on your

black tuxedo bow tie and come

but it should be on a bare chest

and on a short dhoti and rubber slippers

so that you can melt in the crowd

also please tuck in your white star pen

and peerless watch and please no blackberry

for twiter’s tweets can wait to lap it up later.

but please don’t make too much brouhaha about it

come alone and on foot

you will find me quite easily

my hovel is located at the end of a short dirt track

on the small mound above the stinking open drain

on the south side of the outer ring road

we call it austerity drive.

Suhas Borker
- New Delhi, September 22, 2009

[Suhas Borker is an independent documentary filmmaker and convener of the Working Group on Alternative Strategies based in New Delhi. He can be e-mailed at]

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