In This Land

The bullock carts, the rice and mices
The newspapers, the bombing and gunning
The prostitutes, the market and wicked
The June 18th, Chitaranjan and Sharmila
All splatter upon a table or mat
With different answers
With different meanings.
The left out issues pop up like bubble
And leave meaningless in those smoky rooms
Where they sit or squat.
The views differ from table to table
From mat to mat, after every peg

In this land
The sons are being judged
With a little help of alcohol
Ones that wear the smell
Would be forced to walk
With garlands of empty bottles
That clank like bulls on the paddy field.
O! the bottles!
They clank sweet and soothing.
This sweetness was something else
Before they were emptied
The ladies in sarong,
After the sons, they follow
Until the sons walk a straight line
Like a tamed dumb soldier.

They wait for evening
To recite the poems
To imitate the actress
To throw the empty plates in air
To read out the oiled newspaper
They gather not in church
Not in temple,
Not by the bank of Imphal river
But in this evening school of ethanol
As they name it as their code

They are the slices of cucumber
In the sandwich of corrupt politicians
One side buttered with gun powder
Other side marinated with uselessness
All they make sense is in this “Evening School”

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