Poems by
Ram Chopra

Immigration Emigration… Across Demarcation…

a poem by Ram Chopra

This is a forgotten song of one such inhabitant
Who belongs to all because he is a cross border citizen
What beckons a young man to the West. a fortune hunt
Or plain refuge from the homeland’s war front.

It’s work, it’s dignity that magnetizes a young heart
For that undefined damsel he wants to make a start
Leaving the gangetic plains, the home and all ancient traditions
In an ordeal of perpetually changing situations
So many prosperous cities, kind and cruel people in many stations
And after all who cares for human rights
Which are privileges alone of western documents and blue eyes
Have they in west forgotten about loving and living
Ever accumulating and never giving.

Racial slurs, off handed insulting dealings
You keep warm with “decent memories” and freeze daily feelings.

The immaculate uniform, the searching eyes,
They are men in seemingly purposeful stroll
No trespassers allowed, this is a team of border control
It is not sovereignty, integrity of character that counts
The citizenship document is all that amounts.

The French mademoiselles, and the German fraulein
Looking for that immigrant looking so fine
Those lonesome souls, work wages and some warmth they seek
Weary faces, strangers to cold, feeling weak
Are these female bodies really sympathetic souls
Or just future traps playing a false human role
And is this work you do, you illegal immigrant a modern day slave
Playing a yes man to kill in you all that is brave
Is this called for religious humiliation that makes you a man
Or makes you trash, a prisoner of your body tan.

My failed hero played in school no cricket no tennis
He learnt the yogic tricks of manipulating phallatic power of the penis
With yoga positions and intricate breath control
His body responds to the counsel of the soul
The male organ in endless penetration ride
Could not ejaculate the seed in the bridal nights
And it could lead for the lady in multiple orgasms
In utter fatigue they plunged in pleasure chasms
For the innocent illegal immigrant lad
All so marvellous but a little too sad
He could not release his inner tensions
What remained then of his intentions
Slithering, sliding finger printing all cavities
The woman’s body instrumentalised in enduring ecstacy
Uttering obscenities in raging insanity
After the Baltic beauty in Moscow
The Bavarian, French but the Austrian on the Alps in a bed of snow
Shivering with pleasure and a palpitating heart
Oh God, oh God no, she cried and fell apart
In coronary report confused but clear
An orgasmic attack in enthralled fear did the doctors declare
The illegal immigrant not charged but verdicted
Sent home with a broken dream inflicted
So much of prospering in the west
And so futile this capped loving
Where eventually is the giving
In this lonely dance in an old timer fest.

But to the gangetic plains be did return
To become a sadhu and more yoga to learn
To live in hunger, thirst and sleep on nails
His face gaunt, eyes sparking and body frail
Sadhu after all means going the path that’s straight
Not just crossing geographic frontiers but those of the mind
When you see such a wanderer, be just kind.

Our hero aged as he with years became
Served the poor, sick, sufferers and the lame
The word spread that a man of worth who can heal
Lepers, epileptics and several came just before him to kneel
For the moments of blessing and unsaid words of survival
And to foresee that all existential difficulties are trivial.

The years of wandering peaceful for our sadhu were not for long
Comes to an end every couplet in the song
There occurred in the region a caste war, from the downtrodden an uprising
Slaughter, rape and bloodshed was no longer surprising
Our newly acclaimed holy man made several pilgrimages
To negotiate peace and calm the rages
Though some among the folks gave him a sympathetic ear
The party lords however did fear
For their own power and a compromising peace
Anger, fury and hate in the region they did leash.

Then not quite unforeseen
That an arsonist in madness shrieked
Burn him let his treacherous peace be martyred
And in his words very keen
Led a congregation of raging men to the wooden cottage.

The holy man naked in meditation inside he sat
They chargesheeted him outside and one lit a match
The singular flame, the wooden door engulfed
Another, a petrol bottle in air he hurled
It was in seconds a carnival of light and heat
The naked man inside refused to leave his seat.

As the smoke in the closed room the air filled
Time to emigrate be knew his breath slow, then still
With the last breath did the existence ejaculate
Exhaling void to mingle with the decisive fate
This moment is bliss like the orgasm ultimate
When life and death merge in human body to copulate.

Destiny decides the wise they know
Efforts, karma is never rewarded
They breed more effort only to be thwarted
Nevertheless God’s justice cannot be reprimanded
We are on earth shipwrecked and stranded
To fend for ourselves the few planetary rotations around the sun
Emigrants are we from life itself, are we on the run…