POETRY: Far from Home
By Amitava Chakrabarty
Everyday hundreds of them I see
Those famished faces, semi rickety
Limbs, jostling in the cramped space
Of the general compartments, that encase-
Hopes of fecundity.
Hopes from a distant land
Where whispering whistles can be curved
Into sculpted reality in lieu of blood
In lieu of crumpled skin oozing sweat
Under the Southern sun.
As decades of induced ignorance
Has left them bereft of knowledge
And has predestined them to let it burn
I mean, their naked skin, under the sun.
The factories were relegated to revolutions,
And their imprudent minions who hit the street
Were left to the street to peck up crumbs;
Their unfed children born in delirious truth
Now head for west or south.
A race that brought renaissance
See! It now export menial labours
Ignominy’s child, scrawny vote banks
Hands on hire- sweepers or mowers
Slogging in distant lands.
Their fathers, faceless ex-proletariats
Under the flags, now carry a shadow
To meet their final fate, while their sons
Devoid of mother’s love or newly wed wives’
Embrace, curl up a pillow.
Disgrace! Its daily dose accumulates
In the cage, and the fire percolates in limbs
As he rams the hammer to break bricks
On the western highway, his cheap set rings,
He heard his father passed away.
(Exodus of Youth for the want of jobs in West Bengal, where decades of Leftist hegemony has uprooted the chance of investments in Industry and a skewed education system has made the common man’s knowledge unusable for jobs, except for party cadres in state government offices.)