Saturday, 11 March 2017

[Poem] The Curse of Modernity



This poem was written in response to a contest conducted by Dr Saantosh Bakayya, who took the above picture. It was declared as a winning entry along with four other poems, in the literary group The Significant League. 

Please click on this link to hear the audio recording of the poem

https://soundcloud.com/bhuvaneshwari-shankar/the-curse-of-modernity


When did my world begin to change?
Frozen in a dizzying time warp,
I stand nailed to the ground
Feeling a a giant train blast through me
Littering my world with alien debris

The television came
With it, the advertisements
That bid to change with the times
Oh! the relentless bombardment
Day after day
Bewilderment
Day after day

Watching shadows, I could tell the time
Unlearnt it - to own a watch
My spun cotton no longer trendy
I spend a better part of my earning
On clothes that no longer fit
In pantaloons badly stitched

The local grocer changed his ware
Traditional was passe
Potato silvers, biscuits, soft drinks in the display
We ate that too, because the advertisements told us to

The rich own the world
They always do
They get the best slice of the consumer pie
We get the crumbs
 And call it nectar

All this talk of organic farming
But we have always been organic
Till the pesticides came on the scene
Our water ways on the verge of pollution
The village air
Toxin free for now
I dread the sick world
Which is my child's inheritance

The local shaman has been shamed
 By men in white coats
He has not the wherewithal
To fight diseases of the modern world

The city - a tantalizing temptress beckons
Dimmed- the senses lie, in the bright lights
 But I have come not to drown in her pleasures
Disease is a demon at my back
And, I have come gathering  all that I ever owned
Fear compels, so does hope for a death postponed

The giant shark waits
Its mouth wide open, fangs exposed
It swallows all
And hungers for more
My money, my dignity, even my footwear
My life is a study in despair

I await the word of the shaman in a white coat
Little realizing that he is but a sham
I squat here my defilement complete
In a shabby road unkempt
The corporate shark has sucked
My life's blood
Barely have I, anything left
for a meal or even a bottle of water
A hotel stay is but a pipe dream

All around me vehicles blare and hurry past
Men and women move fast
Hurrying towards something
I am all alone
In a loveless world
Shorn of everything
I squat in the filthy street
Dreaming of the green fields back home

1 comment:

  1. Very nice! Captures our life so well :-)

    ReplyDelete