Poems by
Rao A J

Cuddapah Floods

a poem by Rao A J

Cuddapah town had thirsted for water
For four consecutive years
Its wells went dry
Its fields became parched
The river Buggavanka
Had no water in its belly

Then suddenly one day
The river sprang to life
Water was released into it
Upstream by the dam authorities
It went berserk
The water spilled into the roads
And into homes

For twenty four hours
Cuddapah town turned into
A vast sheet of muddy brown water
Gutters overflowed into roads
Carcasses floated on swirling waters
The poor lost their modest possessions
Cuddapah became a ghost town

A single bureaucratic bungle
Led to the colossal loss of life
And possessions of so many
A single act of indecisiveness
Caused so much death and destruction
A single stroke of the bureaucratic pen
Would make so much difference
To the lives of millions of people.