She lifted bricks to build the edifice;
He mixed the cement to fix them together.
He kept guard of the apartment block.
He wove the cloth that his wife embroidered;
He stitched into a garment ready to wear
He sweated out in the hotel kitchen to make the chappatis;
She took care of the kids in the creche.
His job was to keep the coals burning, and skew the kebabs;
She was the nanny that changed the diapers.
He pushed the wheelchair of the Saheb;
She washed the utensils clean.
He watered the garden;
She pruned the rose bushes and kept the lawns green.
She dyed the cloth;
He hung it to dry.
She gathered the vegetables;
He pushed the cart all through the neighbourhood.
Back home, in yonder land, old parents waited for the ‘ting’ on their mobiles:
Just in time to pay the rent and buy the rations.
Many had left behind fields sown,
Waiting to return and harvest them in time.
It was not this microscopic creature that pinned them down;
That threw them out of work;
That exhausted their food stocks;
That tied them down as helpless cattle.
It was big business;
It were the construction giants;
It were the the factory owners;
The restaurateurs, the big hoteliers;
The nemsahibs who could not do without them;
The farm owners who needed the hands;
But were unwilling to pay them full during the lay off;
Who needed them to restart their business but refused them money for their needs.
Their greed demanded they stay put;
They mistook their meekness at work for perpetual servility.
But when the storm came, and the ships breached the quay;
When hungry, penniless humans rose as a tidal wave:
Their masters tried denying them transport;
They rode what they could find;
Thousands walked hundreds of miles in light and in darkness;
Through forest and highways;
Some dropped dead of exhaustion;
Some simply got run over.
No eye in the city they built and sustained shed a tear
The government refused to lend them a ear.
This is the saga of my beloved country;
This is the heritage of our glorious land;
And through this, self-reliance we must apparently learn.
When will the circus end;
When will the clowns be sent back to their tent.
Are these merely some arhythmic rants;
Or some meaningful chants?
Khalid Noor Mohammed (Linkedin)