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Mainstream, VOL LVIII No 24, New Delhi, May 30, 2020

Tale of a Migrant

Saturday 30 May 2020

Far away from his native village,
deep in the south,
he was making both ends meet,
working as a labourer in a factory
situated at the outskirts of the city.

Suddenly a killer virus
came from nowhere,
spreading its murderous fangs,
darkening the whole atmosphere,
causing lockdowns everywhere.

Jobless, shelterless, he walked
on sore foot for several days,
managed to reach home,
hoping a relief from his miseries.
But it was short-lived.

A devastating cyclone as if close
on the heels of the deadly virus,
thundered with gusting speed,
raged his thatched house,
making him homeless once again.

He stays in a crowded relief camp,
standing in long queues for food,
spending nights under tarpaulin shade,
weighed down with the uncertainty
of a future, bleak, yet to unfold.

Helpless feeling of vulnerability,
inequity writ large on his pale face!
Still a flicker of hope rekindles in him
a resolve to pick up the thread of life,
weaving anew his broken dreams.

by A.K. Das

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