Migrant’s Daughter talks to Mother

Keki Daruwalla

Where’s that planet Ma, the one you speak of?
Is it Buddha, Sukra, or Mangala?
Where we need to walk just twenty
miles a day to get to our hut, fata fut?
Daughter, please sleep, I am tired.

That planet ma, where it’s  cloudy  even at noon
So our heads won’t burn soon,
where roads are so smooth you said
no feet ever bled
Where we may even find a dukaan
and I could get sandals, hey Bhagwan!

Beti, I am tired, sleep.
How many more miles Ma in these wilds?
Four hundred forty three child!
Is that more than what we’ve done till now?
Child we  walked just four hundred, and how!

Beti, thank the mantris we are in a truck
We won’t get stuck
I know the crush won’t make you gush
Still thank the mantris they take such care of us.
CRASH !! That was an accident daughter.
Who are these Ma, they don’t move
They traveled with us, now they are dead.
We are twenty miles nearer our hearth.
Have we reached a planet Ma?

Child, we are on our planet, Prithvi, Earth.

Category :- English Bazaar Patrika / Features

Let’s go back

Ashok Karania

Let’s go back
Let’s go back

The city of dreams has failed us
Covid & system has jailed us

The city is divided in multiple zones
Almost all hearts have turned stones

Kind-hearted NGOs indeed show humanity
Though how long can we live on charity?

Labourer, driver, vendor, helper, plumber
All are just a statistical number

Human relations are ephemeral
Selfish interests are eternal

The hands that built villas, offices and malls
Struggle lifetime to get their own four walls

The hands that drive people in imported cars
Often buy more sadness than goods from bazaars

The hands that work tirelessly in factories and shops
Miseries of their heart never stops

The hands that help on farms and break stones
Live a life that is cut to the bones

Let’s go back
Let’s go back

Does a long term future exist?
Is Gandhi’s village economy a myth?

Maybe we will have to return again
Maybe we will have to burn again

Maybe we will have financial stress again
Maybe we will embrace distress again

But today’s separation is a greater pain
Heart has replaced the brain

Let’s go back
Let’s go back

Bribing and begging with the fixer
Stuffing life’s belonging in a concrete mixer

Going back is filled with unpredictability
Reaching home is not a certainty

Tracks have seen many brethren die
Unable to even say final good-bye

Highways are painted with fresh blood red
Rolling suitcases are children’s new bed

May we survive the danger
May we survive the hunger

It will end our tyranny
It will bring rewards many

Mother’s face will shine
Kids’ embrace divine

Life with hope 
Life with unity
Life with dignity
Life with humanity

[I was pained to read about the suffering of migrants in India. It prompted me to write a small note]

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Category :- English Bazaar Patrika / Features