Jun 17, 2020

What made News?

20 Indian Soldiers martyred in border skirmish
China reports casualties too
(Big relief)
For our Sons who died
We killed too

Cameras to be fitted in Covid Hospital Wards
Says the Home Minister
Now we can record the dying
Sleeping with the dead

Migrants should be transported back home
Within 15 days
Rules the Hon' Supreme Court,
(Only) 75 days after the lockdown
Was first imposed

Sushant Singh Rajput hangs himself
He was 34
Who are you to call us lunatics
Asks Kangna in her Whatsapp post

Chennai count of deaths double
Clerical error blamed
Maharashtra deaths may double
A clerk is being identified
So that he or she may be blamed

Why is Telangana not testing
Asks a bewildered High Court
Bodies of two dead persons missing
Family seeking answers
And the State Home Minister says
These are difficult times
Such things happen
Next time, we will paste photos over the dead bodies
That way you can take a selfie
And pray that the one inside
Is your dad
Or your brother
Or the beggar
Who died of hunger
And no one noticed

Or the migrant
Who would not beg
And hence hanged himself

Jun 10, 2020

Into the night

© Jonathan McHugh 2020
The day is getting shorter 
The nights, longer. 
Tired from all the shining
All season long
The Sun slowly gives way
To the waiting Stars in the sky. 

I can see so many more of them 
The new ones
Of the old ones
Who did not have time enough 
For their final goodbyes. 

-----

In memory of the elderly who passed away during these pandemic times.
Image © Jonathan McHugh 2020

Jun 8, 2020

This Tear in the Fabric of the Universe

I look around and I see all my known acquaintances busy as an ant. I think they live in a different dimension. I think I am plugged into the wrong nodes of the universe.

The blind beggar woman who lived in Bolaram Bazaar is probably dead. It was only the other day that I picked her up from the middle of the road and gave her some water. There were so many people around her. No one came. I asked a bystander who was cuddling his dog what had happened? She just fell down, she is probably dead, he said.

I was on my morning walk that day, and on the way to the park I had seen the woman begging into thin air. On my return, as if by some invisible force, I was driven to the bazaar road. Like all the educated crowd, I absolutely stay away from busy places for the fear of catching the Virus (Covid19). But it was almost as if I knew that something had happened to her. And there she was, lying bang in the middle of the road, with scores of people simply looking at her still body. As if it were a snake, dead but alive in our fears and our instincts. When I poured the little water that I carried in my small flask on her still face, she came alive with a shake and started reaching out in all directions to get a hold of my hand. I gave her my hand and she clenched on to it tightly, and started asking for more water.I asked for some more water from one of the houses from where I saw people observing me. They left a bottle of water at the gate, and I collected it and poured some more water into the beggar woman's bowl.

I moved her on to the side of the road and asked a known shopkeeper to feed her. And I left her there. I reached home and washed my hand with disinfectants and soap and took a long bath. I looked at the overhead shower, and running water, and smelt the fragrant pears soap, and started to cry in the shower.

I prepared my breakfast and as I set it on the table, the cold watermelon and a warm cup of milk won't go down easily. I felt as if I would choke on the watermelon, and die.

And then I remembered the little child, butt naked, following her father on the road, in the sweltering heat of an unforgiving city in lockdown. She would probably survive another hour. And then die of dehydration. Or maybe she will survive a couple of days, and die of hunger or probably she will survive a week, and a truck will run over her. She will die. She will die.

I have not been sleeping well. All my cries for help have always been answered, except now. Now it seems that my village Gods have taken a vacation. It feels like tired of all my demands for food and dignity and love and care, Hanuman Ji has moved back to the mountains.

This level of agony was supposed to be hidden. Hidden behind the veneer of the prosperity of our cities and the noise of our Benzes and Audis. I wonder who tore what bit of the fabric of this charade and out came tumbling the horror of indignity and suffering of our poor from the sewers of our existence!

Such horror!

Jun 3, 2020

Muddy flows the Ganges

The river of time flows muddied 

Through weeping shores in spate.
It carries with it
The hunger of our orphans
And the neglect of our masters


Here a child died 
There a friend held on
To a dead friend
Here a mother gave birth
To a still-born
And there a old man
Sang to the Sea
For redemption from the heat

The sins of many
Would hang heavy on all of us
And when it is time to collect
Let's be ready,  without apologies
To pay. 

The river of time runs sullied
From the lament of the multitudes
Who were sacrificed by some 
Who blamed a virus
For the wretchedness of their soul.

Goodbye Ganesha

As long stretches of empty cranes stood waiting, for the last of the Ganesha's to bid adieu, I felt my eyes welling up from a sadness th...

Popular Posts