Lets be a little more #confused in these #Corona times


I write to you,

to tell you of not a story

But some realities I witnessed as I live through them:

Realities much scarier than the Stories of Saturn or Vampires,

Realities much sadder that the painful death of a loved one,

And Realities where many like us, just felt more confused than we already are

I write to you,

Generations far beyond time.



I write to you,

Not to defend myself

But to let you know

That there were moments in our times, where

The loudest voice was not the most compassionate one.

That there were decisions in our times, where

Both the swords and pens picked struggles of only some.

That there was such a time

Where the poor mattered lesser than they any way do

In our middle-class realities.  



And I want to tell you

That whatever they tell you,

In books and documented history

I do not know.

But I want you to know

That there were people around,

Who weren’t quite sure

Of what decisions are we taking, as a country

Of what actions are we allowing, as responsible citizens

Of what consequences are we going to face, as humans



If they tell you that

Our leaders were doing their best-

Choosing the lesser of the two evils.

Which is

Hunger, Death without Dignity

Over letting people die of Coronavirus.




Ask them –

Your country was the fifth largest economy in the world

With a 100+ odd billionaires

The largest of the democracies

You also ran the largest Employment Guarantee programme

Food for all Programme

around the world.

You don’t take a breath

While telling laurels of the fast-paced development,

With IT hubs, and flyovers and metros



You know, when someone said

Where there is will,

One finds a way.

That someone wasn’t wrong.



And if you ask, why there was not enough will?

Or why do I doubt their will?

Maybe they were well intentioned

Good Able Visionary Leaders.

Well, they might just be.

But What I know of Good Leaders is

They care that NO ONE is left behind

They know that the stronger ones can bear pain

But the weakest will perish

Good leaders fail, but they try

They take big risks,

Calculated for least pain for the weakest,

And highest gain for the situation.

They reject anything

That harms the spirit of solidarity and brotherhood.

They build on power of love

Over politics of hate

And not see an opportunity

in this crisis

of furthering their reign,

to states and territories untouched.   



But what did our leaders do?

They tell me they are doing their best.

And they ask me to do my best too.

So far so good.

But they don’t tell me

Why they can’t find a better way

Of fulfilling some basic desires of the poorest

Why they can’t plan transport to their homes?

Why they can’t provide them better shelter and food?

Why they allow people to die of hunger on roads?

And my friend, I don’t even know

How long does it take to die of hunger?

2 days, 4 or 14?

I don’t know.

And perhaps will never know.



They tell me they are doing their best

But they were silent

On why this pandemic

Not united us as humans

But only divided us as Muslims and Non-Muslims




Nowhere else.

It happened only in India.

That people of this country believed

that a part of society

is deliberately, on purpose

Spreading the Virus.

And have found a way

to destroy the country

By Spreading the Virus.

They call them ill intentioned

Enemies of Humanity.


Till yesterday

They were only people

Far from our worlds

Praying differently than us

And how were they otherwise?

We don’t know

We never knew.

We never tried knowing them.

Today, they are enemies.

Not difficult to imagine.



Only in India

People believe,

Stories of Muslims

Conspiring in their own Spit



And Only in India

The media feels like a conspiracy

Against the democracy

Because they let people know

what they want them to know

But not let people question

what they have been told

It is a special power

What ancestors used to call

Black Magic

Only in India.



And if these stories of the commoners that you read

Tell you that they sympathized

Or Empathized

With the struggles of the weak

And that I am over-reacting

Because pain comes differently

To different classes.


That’s the rule of society.



Tell them.

That I don’t want to know

The logic of how we suffer differently.

What I am worried about

Is that people around me,

are convinced.

That the suffering

to our fellows, the weaker ones

cannot be prevented,

cannot be resolved.

And that they suffer,

Like we suffer.

Just different proportions.

There isn’t anything extraordinary

In their sufferings.



Remind them

To not kill the emotional being in them

Because logic has its own ways

To convince you

Of what it wants



It is by killing emotions

That a Murderer is born

A Rapist is born

And A Terrorist is born.



Tell them

I was not romanticizing

That India can pull all out of poverty

May be not

May be never.



I was only hoping

That people don’t kill

The emotional being in them.



And if they did get a chance

to define the new normal

Which I think they did.



Let that not be

Being okay with a sight of

Even more gruesome poverty

and Helplessness.



Let that be

In saluting and acknowledging

The big sacrifices the weak make

To let you be the Strong one.

To let you be the privileged.

And they don’t make this choice.

You do.

And I can’t even tell you 

what you can do to pay back

Because you can’t

What you can do is

to respect them, respect the dignity  of labour

give them their due share of compensation for work

and build a bridge. 



I must tell you,

That there were always

Some voices

Some confused voices,

Not ready to swallow

Every pain killer

that the Leaders offer.

Every sleeping pill

that the Media gave.



And you can find them

In old

And in Present

Because I believe

They shall survive

And they shall be living

Just to tell you

And to confuse you.




Cheers to the Spirits of living together, Long Live the Spirit! Photo Credit: Hindu Business Line

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