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Mainstream, VOL LV No 1 New Delhi December 24, 2016 - ANNUAL 2016

That’s My Place, Sir

Monday 26 December 2016

That’s my place, Sir.

[Newly fashioned. I’m overwhelmed!] 

There

In the long, weary queues

Waiting patiently

On aching, creaking feet

Moving inch by painful inch

For a blushing, pink piece of paper

[that can’t buy me a day’s vegetable].

I’ve been made to line up all my life.

Before the factories,

before being admitted for the day’s work.

Before hospitals,

getting sick on feet to cure sickness.

Before ration shops for a pint of kerosene.

That’s my place, Sir.

This country is great.

I live in ghettos of charged life.

Our schools are not your children’s schools, Sir.

Our hospitals are not your hospitals.

Your culture and corruption can’t be ours!

They toss bundles of new currency notes 

At you across the queues of bedraggled faces.

We are told that banks have no cash.

“Go back to your hunger and misery.”

That’s when the rear doors open

And money flows into rich man’s hands.

That’s my place, Sir.

It has been so, and it will remain so.

This time it is the devotees of

Of Prabhu Ramchandra (who ate berries from Shabari’s hands) 

Who have come to show us our worth.

They call it our democratic right.

Or God’s verdict

Or simply, “Thy Destiny”.

“Chant my name, fools, chant my name, and forget all else.”

Thundered the Oracle

Namo, Namo!

—Sharad Rajimwale