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Mainstream, VOL LI, No 37, August 31, 2013

Liberated

Monday 2 September 2013, by Sagari Chhabra

The parched earth fissured;
the solitary mynah
with its open beak
looked sky-ward.
There was no cloud in sight,
the sun shone
relentlessly on and on
as we prayed for some rain
to relieve this blighted pain.
 
Yet you seemed to
derive pleasure
in denying us.
You mocked us
with your hands on your hips,
a twisted smile on your lips.
While we talked of
global warming and climate change
you switched on the air-conditioning,
blocking out the news of the valley
that was being exchanged.
 
Forty thousand families
had lost their land and livelihood,
but we must raise the height of the dam
or so, says Uncle Sam.
 
Growth at all costs;
forget the people,
they have always been
a damn nuisance;
making progress so messy.
Little girls like you, my dear,
should mind your own business
and write ditties that are pretty.
 
There is no one listening now;
it is noon
and the sun is high;
it is raining FDI
for mining in Kashipur;
forget about destruction of
the natural resource base,
it is base to discuss this,
when the whole world is looking
at India shining,
India rising!
 
The poor have always been
a blight on us;
and you bourgeois girls
born in pink toilet-paper city
are creating a needless fuss.
 
It has never
been so good;
the nuclear deal
will seal,
India’s union with the world.
See how we unfurl
the Indian flag along
the star-spangled banner?
 
Democracy is shining, darling,
give me a smile!
And do join me
for a drink in the bar;
you have come so far,
and you are now,
truly liberated!

2008 Sagari Chhabra

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