Blind Sided….

Thought blurbs to awaken our collective compassion…

I am a Construction Worker

Of the same planet, but living worlds apart

You reap what I toil & sweat

Exhausted, I get back to my shed

Amid filth, with dread

I wonder: What makes me less human than the other?

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Blind Sided

Thought blurbs to awaken our collective compassion

Dubai

In the searing heat, through the desert’s boom

Chiselled from the depths of the nation’s womb

Fairy tale rhetoric of gilt & gold

While history is fossilized in a museum-fold.

 

Vying skyscrapers: Big, Bigger, Biggest.

Encased in skins of blue, green and violet.

Amidst structural glazing of startling pink

Lush greenery dotted with palms in synch.

 

Dark-kohled eyed framed in black

Speed past in 6-laned traffic track

Accompanied by men in white-robed augustness

A chequer-pattern in the desert’s barrenness.

 

Behind all this golden foil

Is my country brethren’s sweat & toil.

Blind Sided

Thought blurbs to awaken our collective compassion

 

Pot holes & Roads

As a tax payer & more

I worry about our roads.

Big men, all. Make their money

Laying road after road.

 

What I fail to notice

Are tents- blue or yellow

Cropping on every stretch,

For the makers of the road.

They are given their homes free,

No less! By their contractors.

 

Why do I need to complain or worry

Or even know, as long as I get my road.

I have visited Apollo twice,

Back ache due to potholes.

I matter;

My back does – to me.

Lay the roads and be gone

Tents are ugly to see.

Blind sided…

Girl in Black

A little girl,

In a tattered black petticoat

Outside Central Mall.

Training her fingers over the letters

“FOR SALE- 50% OFF”

On the outside wall.

“SOCH”!

I do just that…

Does she go to school?

Does she have a home?

Does she have a dream?

Or a glimmer of a hope?

 

The car whizzes past

The black recedes to a mere dot.

I can’t solve her problems-

Scheduled meetings are back in my thoughts.

Blind Sided…

Thought blurbs to awaken our collective compassion…

Pause for a thought

Morning foot-falls

Furiously at Fleurs

Toilet off the highway-

next to a food place.

 

A Cherubic lady

Cleaning in-charge

Warm, smiling,

Directing one and all.

 

None amongst us give her a glance.

We are busy-

When is my turn, what do I eat-

Our foremost thoughts.

 

A 7 year old,

On her way out

Takes a pause-

Aunty! Your leg! Where is your foot?

My eyes see the bandaged stump

Furious, festering…

How did it happen; how does she commute?

Is there a doctor close by

To attend to her wounds?

Does she have a home, across the barren highway?

 

The smell of dosa beckons.

Masala or rava? With tea or coffee?

I know I can’t solve her problem.

But can I at least pause for a thought?

Can I at least spare a note-

Worth half my breakfast?

Blind Sided

Thought blurbs to awaken our collective compassion…

Pool side Party

Someone has turned forty!

A gabby happy cacophony

Louis Vitton or H&M?

Guess! Or Forever 21?!

 

No swim suit? Never mind.

Push into the pool

Splash around…

Many drinks

Cloud nine & mind…

At the end of all the pure fun

The five-star fines

A sum of fifty thousand and one.

 

It takes that much

To house the family of the girl/boy

Who sold the drum/toy

Now in a flimsy blue tent

For five years to ten

Rupee Fifty thousand and none.

Blind Sided…

Thought blurbs to awaken our collective compassion

Red Light 4

The girl who sold the drum

Her house, I went to see

A blue tent on two sides,

The other two, just open-ends.

 

Maligned and shunted

By apartment higher ups

Moved through three neighbourhoods

In eight months since migration.

 

The girl, herself a child

Had three of her own.

Her life an insoluble trap

Her plight I cannot resolve.

 

From sorrow to action mode,

This moment I can manage to hold.

So I do my tiny bit,

And buy the noisy drum.

To me an encumbrance

For her, a needy income.