I am a 27 years old young man.
Every morning I pick up your newspaper
And go through every page looking for news
For a right job for my M.Sc. degree.
I am superstitious enough now
To find any reason for not getting a job
And my recent reason for not getting a job
Is the dead men’s pictures on your front page
I hate to see dead man everyday on your front page.
Sometimes the dead faces of Bihari Workers
Somedays the gunned down Kids.
Their faces were crooked
Like a rat under the truck’s wheel
On some highway.
And the color quality of your Newspaper
Make them even worst
Some days back I could recognize a face
He was too like me, jobless
In this land of heartless princes
Many a time I found him
Standing in queue filling forms
We spoke nothing to each other
But we knew we were the victims
Between Academics and Politics.
We knew we know no way to get out of it
We were the sinking suns in their little oysters.
We knew our certificates were all wet by our sweat.
We met even at cobbler’s stall
With our torn naughty boy shoes
We wished we could mend ourselves
With a job confidently
Like the cobbler’s needle
Piercing our seasoned leather boots
Which have survived many shivering summer
And sweating winter.
We were surprised to see the cobbler
Handling his job with his eyes looking, talking at us
Like his hands are scratching his scrotum.
The cobbler was so good at his work
and mended our shoes in two minutes
That we were hesitating to pay him the money he asked
We bargained not to pay him full.
We believed we will handle a job
Someday like the cobbler
With a new pair of leather boots.
But what all I remember of him now
Is only his dead face with the swelling forehead
With one eye out of its place.
That scares me to go around
Looking for job,
That really made me wonder
What had he done to learn the trick
Of the cobbler’s needle
So please find another page to put the dead ones
I hate to see my kind of face as dead ones,
Let me not get weakened by your front page
Even if my breakfast is left-over rice and Black Tea
Yours faithfullyAkhu Chingangbam.