Poems by
Abhilash Surendran

I am your father, son!

a poem by Abhilash Surendran

So, you are on the flight?
How is the view outside?
Do you see bleak landscapes,
arid deserts, blistered skin;
Does tears weep through the scab tissues?
Are there seeds willing to grow up,
but pressed down by the forces.
Do you see people walking with no shoes,
and, no clothes, and flies swarming around them.

Do you see cattle so thin,
you mistook them for senile people?
Are the roads dusty and the rivers dried?
Are the women with pitchers walking by those roads,
to get water 10 miles away?
And are there little kids walking along, with
no clothes and little sticks for toys?
And do you see hyenas prowling behind them??

And you might see big factories?
with smoke bellowing out of their belly.
And a trace of life around them.
And do you see nearby rivers,
with dead fish floating on the water?
And birds feeding on them?

Do you see big political rallies,
With huge leaders, guiding a
Flock of emaciated, dazed civilians.
Do you see the face of Gandhi in any of them?

Welcome to your country son.
Where people die of hunger everyday;
where illiterate, poor people
strive to eat a single meal a day.
They beg, they borrow, they steal.
And they survive, till the next day,
where shoddy beggars live in
harmony with well-dressed crooks
where the rich get richer
and the poor get poorer.
Where dreams are born, are raised
and end up in demure demise.

You need not stay long.
You can return back in a week.
To your foster home in the west
where your caucasian girlfriend
would have steaks and toast ready every morning.
You need not bother about the dirty roads here,
when you speed through the freeways there.
You need not think about the putrid water here
when you drink bottled mineral water there.
You need not worry about poverty and famine
when you go to buffet dinners.
As long as you are happy,
you can stay there, but don’t forget.
If you find a better man,
don’t ditch me. I am your father, son!