Election Time in Bengal

A leader has come to grace the town

Poles, bars are tied with party flags

People wear a festive look,

Hymns fill the air of tea shops, bazaars, malls


Policemen hurry and scurry

Corners and roadsides are empty

Aliens and outsiders are pushed to the town’s edges


Life-size cutouts, posters, flags,

Boards and festoons are on every hand—


Parents guarding NEET centres

Beggars keep on begging

Harlots keep faith in the morning rays

Scrap collectors collecting tins and tarp

Masons are building blocks for Babus

Flower-sellers are readying for the day

Aam admis are waiting in an endless queue for

A look at god’s escort rally


Roads, lanes, and by-lanes are closed

Fields filled with sweaty faces, frail limbs

 Khakis on sides with nylon ropes in hand


A meal and a flag

A booth is safe, a panchayat seat is won,

A Banerjee has come

A Bhattacharjee will win

A Chatterjee will rule for days to come


And hamid, sarif, haradhon, mahato

Will kill mates in god’s name

Or catch a south-bound train

Or rot at home


~Abu Siddik


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