Waves of Heat at our Town

Berhampore at night

From the wee hours,
you come to be fodder of town’s big men–
to build houses for babus who hate you from their hearts,
to open meat shops or bring vegetables to their doors,
to serve as hands at their shops and guarded blocks,
to peddle rickshaws or carry their loads at stand and station,
when you walk or ride or boat,
the stars whisper, and birds begin whistling

Because of you, the jail and police stations look lighted,
because of you, my town looks colourful in the day,
at night, it looks bare, like an abandoned harlot,
missing your rustic scent, plain smile and working footprints.

In buses and trains or teashops,
you are the easiest prey of the city’s abuse,
blocks are barred for your entry–talks of education, culture
is just a treacherous ploy,
your innate identity is your entry pass,
and it proves invalid every time you punch,
community is well-calibrated with hate and heat

Brothers and sisters! “Why do you carry salt for masters?”
think and find ways to mend your ways,
else, don’t move tails or moan your lot.

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I write because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, said George Orwell. As a writer, I never kowtow to the whims and dictates of the sacred godmen or godwomen, the political bigots and hypocrites, dealers of laymen, the dishonest and self-serving intellectuals, traders of religions, the betrayers of ‘other’ Indians who eke out a living by their sweat, who are living in fear for being lynched for this and that.

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