Friday, January 8, 2016

My Hunger is Concrete




I’m just a year and a half old
and am constructing this huge shopping mall.

Here I am sitting in the shade of a bush
by the side of the towering structure
to which my mother carries the mixture
of gravel and sand and cement
in a grating crater on her head.

When I’m hungry, I wail loud.
That’s when mother comes
and makes me stand on a wall,
opens her blouse,
and pops a nipple into my mouth,
her one hand behind my back
and the other holding the crater.

It’s my hunger that builds the mall.

PS. I wrote this poem some ten years ago when I watched a mother stopping to feed her child at a construction site in Delhi.  The photo was taken a few years later while walking through Bhatti Mines, a part of Delhi that has palatial ashrams belonging to godmen and also slums where people struggle to make both ends meet. 


Anyone interested in a free pdf copy of my book, The Nomad Learns Morality, is welcome to contact me. 

14 comments:

  1. Extremely potent! Beautifully written.

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  2. It is their blood and sweat and bones and muscles that build the mall.
    Great work.

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  3. Heart wrenching :'(
    Very well written.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Purba. Both the poem and photo come from real life, actual situations.

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  4. Very affecting.
    It is the story of a mother who cannot afford to sit at home and watch over her little one. It is also the story of a mother who gets to take her kid to work or watch her little one while she goes about making a living.

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    Replies
    1. One of the many grim realities of the city. There is much more humanity in the countryside.

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  5. Mother can do anything for her child....very true lines

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    Replies
    1. Mothers are helpless too in the given system.

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  6. beautifully written, I liked the rawness of harsh reality in the poem

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    Replies
    1. The reality is getting harsher for the majority.

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  7. Reality - harsh, bitter, unrelenting, and blind.

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    Replies
    1. How long will that reality last? A cry in the wilderness can start an avalanche rolling....

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