Our body is 70% water and so is the earth.
So, be generous with water.
The slab needs it”, said the contractor with an unnecessary smile.
Why then there wasn’t enough for the land we called ours
The land that we tilled with hopes of emerald crops
That would translate our limited understanding of contentment
Why did we have to witness the loss of a season
The soil that birthed us lying like a corpse with a mouth gaping open
For any amount of life
Why did the money vanish from the only shelter we knew
Starving our little ones who sucked on my emptied breasts
And I shuddered at the thought of the word ‘hunger’
Why did we have to leave behind our home
To settle in this urban mess
To build shanties and watch someone else’s concrete dream take shape
Why did our children have to sleep on the sand
Their dark skin dried up with an excess sun
The cement dust becoming their second skin
The noses never running dry of phlegm or of smells from the nearby Iyengar Bakery
Why did our owners think that the wages that they gave us was more than needed
It took more than a hundred rupee note to get a meal
Only to keep the mind convinced
A meal that lacked both nutrition and taste in equal portions
Here wear this shirt on your saree
It is easy to conceal your belly this way”, says he while assigning her tasks.
Hide the scars that your womb has worn,
balance the bricks like the way you carried water in your village,
your hands will have altered bruises, hold your memories in your nostrils
While you still shut your eyes to think of the last time
he looked at you in your old house with a well in which he dissolved
Before it was decided to waive off the farmers’ loans