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Mainstream, Vol XLVII No 11, February 28, 2009

When scars grow tongues

Monday 2 March 2009, by Suhas Borker


Say Kudos to the Slumdog
- From your underbelly’s
- Bloody rotting open wound.
- All the glamour, razzmatazz,
- Glitz and red fluff
- Cannot take away the stink
- Because Hunger does not
- Wait for your trickle down
- Because Faith does not
- Wait for your life to ebb away
- Because Breath does not
- Wait for your gaping maggots to multiply.

Let the golden statuettes
- Be put away as they were
- After Gandhi and Ray’s
- Last Song of the Road
- —Pather Shesh Panchali.
- For us the barricades are up now
- Because you have no answer
- To our suffering
- Because you have locked away
- The keys to our dreams
- In your mortuary’s forensic lab
- Where our aspirations are bottled
- In small formalin jars of amnesia
- While our daily survival grind
- Pushes us to forget
- Where the bodies of thousands
- Upon thousands of our children
- Are embalmed in your pyramids
- Of putrid moth-eaten time frames
- Of five-year plans pegged to
- Some statistician’s shifting BPL
- Which if need arises can even be
- Dismissed as ‘grandiose’
- Because only you can splurge
- While we starve.

But one day very soon will come
- When our scars will grow tongues
- Unscathed to invert those pyramids
- When we will liberate ourselves
- When we will give ourselves
- What is truly ours!
- Jai Ho! Jai Ho!

New Delhi, Suhas Borker
- February 23, 2009

[Suhas Borker is an independent documentary filmmaker and convener of the Working Group on Alternative Strategies based in New Delhi. He can be
e-mailed at]

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