THIS FAMISHED ROAD
a child picks up a glass shard
i know he hasn’t eaten in days
I tear after him
just in time, before it reaches his mouth.
I look down
to see his empty as hell tummy bursting
a decent 2 rupees is what the state promises his stomach
but many indecent proposals have hogged his due
hand to mouth is a bloody luxury here.
sits unsteadily on the edge of death
I feel, like Jharkhand
empty as hell.
A potbelly of mal-everything Bharat,
twists my gut into motivation
to turn the gaze of a schizoid distracted nation
towards this rerere-republic of hunger
I meet endless farmers who’ve pawned their future,
their lehrate khet have a different owner’s name plate,
right on the edge of their malnourished homes
the farmer buys veggies at the same price as I do in the city,
he has to buy it from his land and only if he gets work or gets paid or …
this is the broken land of or or or .
Stock options of the unfortunate
may earn 50 rupees in a week or a month or never
luck, landlord and a worm infested system willing
har haath ko kaam do , kaam ka sahi daam do,
the only thing one can see is that polio and a rising belly now stalk the farmer’s third child
I go up close on the belly,
desperate to move a nation
every question I ask,
hangs in the hut
a weary silence is their only answer
For in the forgotten wombs of inner india
The ultrasound of fatigue is all I get.
more babies go to sleep hungry in our land than any other
while we tune in to Domino’s …
In the KBC of high stakes, Kaun banega childsaver
When I ask Everyman here,
“Why can’t you give half a square meal to your child”
a parent’s blank guilt smudges my conscience deep
Boring deeper than the potholes my tires just shrieked over,
for what sweepstakes across jharkhand
Denial of rights, of feelings , of values, of how humungous
the thump of corruption
is on every growing child’s head.
like my nation’s conscience.
Give somegodforsakenone too, today, their daily bread.
My urban obesity looks just like this child’s..
but who wants to know the difference.. I wonder
Never the bloody twain are the two Indias meeting
one, toobusytostop rut, the other rotting .. losing
just plain losing
the pather panchaliness of the 21st century,I will not allow.
As long as a mother’s TB type cough rasps awake ,
the rhythms of my reporting,
ENOUGH, this famished road must end somewhere
between realpolitik and reality,
between life and lifelessness,
just between you and me……