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Mainstream, VOL LVII No 41, New Delhi, September 28, 2019

Freedom

Saturday 28 September 2019, by Badri Raina

Would you be free of the tyranny

Wrought by the benevolent?

Learn to turn your resolute back

On words of sweet intent.

Ask the insistent benefactor

What he has up his sleeve;

Keep a steady frown in place,

Let him squirm and grieve.

And, if he is too long with his rant,

Tell him to cut the slack;

Lead him to an unsmiling truth

About his latest tack.

Keep your trust in abeyance,

And your skepticism to the fore;

Should his appeal go below the belt,

Sock him you know where.

Freedom lies in a denial

Of words that do not match the face;

True benevolence rests behind

A silent and sensitive grace.

Learn to be your own man,

Whatever be your troubles;

Benevolence asks no recompense,

Nor speaks in politic bubbles.

Look for benevolence in a tender eye,

Not in a motor mouth

That spans a yarn of glib expanse

From the far north to the south.

Badri Raina

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