Wednesday, July 1, 2020



A Truckload Of Inhumanity

“Throw him out, he is sick, he will infect us,”
“What if he has Covid?”
“Yes, we don’t want to be infected. Throw him out.”
Shouted the other passengers in the truck.
And thus was Amrit Kumar thrown out of the truck
on a mere suspicion of having caught the dreaded virus.
Thus did humanity die on that scorching, sad day
of a deadlier virus.

Yakoob Mohammad, his friend, ignoring the risk
of Covid infection also jumped out of the overcrowded truck
to give his friend company
on a sun-scorched, scalding pavement
on that sad day.

No virus could kill the friendship of the migrants two,
but only death was the villain, playing the divide and rule card ,
smiling at Amrit Kumar and separating the two.

Pedestrians gave a withering look to a youth
cradling another youth in his arms,
asking the passersby for help.

This picture went viral,
when will compassion go viral, I wondered,
blundering into yet another nightmare.

The Golden Boy

The graceful bird sky surfs in solitary splendor,
catching one drift of wind then another,
like a languorous leaf tender
on the descent.

Flies down and perches
next to a boy in tattered pants
and starts scavenging for grub.
The boy with grimy cheeks and tattered pants
cups some sand in his tiny hand ,  watches, transfixed
eyes fixed on the army grand as it trails across his tiny hand,
determination and discipline in the trail
of those marching ants.

The bird forgets the worm and with a step firm
hops towards the boy in tattered pants
and chirps its joy to the grimy boy
and watches the poor boy, mesmerized.
Marigold flowers leaning against the fence
straighten up their spines, looking like bursts of fire
rearing to engulf the boy with their golden glory.
The fire in my heart waits to burst forth, but alas,
it waits in vain; the sun steals a march and creeps
stealthily from behind.
One sunbeam leaps towards the boy
to suffuse him in hues of golden joy.

The poor boy is now rich.
The sun with its Midas' touch has taken him in his fold
to cover him in gold.
The golden boy.

Mothers All

The tiny sparrow hopping around
on the leaf- littered ground, hunts for its mother,
riveted by a lapwing calling out to its young one.
A mother at the construction site, picks up a brick,
eyes refusing to leave her tiny tot
who is fascinated by a pathetic little stick
fallen from the neem tree, under which a mother squirrel
and a baby squirrel go round and round in circles, playing games .

The construction worker, perks up
as her tiny tot smiles at her,
flaunting the precious stick,
a triumphant gleam in his round eyes.
The mother goes back to laying bricks,
brick by brick; removes a crick from her neck,
and smiles – a gold – sheathed smile.


Dr. SANTOSH BAKAYA: Recipient of many national and international awards, academic - poet -essayist- novelist - biographer – editor -Ted Speaker – creative-writing mentor, Dr. Santosh Bakaya has been internationally acclaimed for her Poetic biography of Mahatma Gandhi, [Ballad of Bapu]. Her Ted Talk on The Myth of Writers Block, is very popular in creative writing Circles. Some of her books are:  Where are the Lilacs? [Poetry] Under the Apple Boughs [Poetry] Songs of Belligerence [Poetry]. Flights from my Terrace [Essays] A Skyful of Balloons [Novella] Bring out the tall Tales [Short stories with Avijit Sarkar] Only in Darkness can you see the Stars [a Biography of Martin Luther King Jr]. She runs a very popular column Morning Meanderings in Learning and Her International Reuel award winning long, narrative hundred-page poem, Oh Hark! is about to hit the market in a new form with illustrations by Avijit Sarkar.

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