In spite of all the achievements of the Modi government and India being counted as the home of the global billionaires, 30% of the Indians are killed living in poverty. Poverty is the greatest curse a human being can live with and this winter so many of the poor in the capital Delhi has died in spite of the many night shelters which NGOs provided.

I published the following poem in Illustrated Weekly on November 30, 1969.

Hell is an ancient land

where the fires burn

under dark or darker

skin. The tourists remark:

Here at least all arrangements

for the business of pain

and torture have been made.

Each one nailed to his

or her cross of grief

and the life sentences

sealed and guarded in files

tilted Fate. In summer

the sun sucks the orifices

dry, the men and cattle

he fries. In winter the cold

wind claws at all the undressed flesh. What if

the rains come in between

to flush out the dwellings

and the men? Or riots intervene

to strike the people down?

But nothing can match

the hunger machine’s

ruthless pace that drops

napalm on the intestines

and prefers the victims

young and dumb.

So the ultimate question is the poor will be made to stand on their own legs giving them education which alone can make them self-supporting. Communism especially the Karl Marx’s brand of communism expected the world to be redeemed from the curse of poverty killing the poor while the rich live with super-abundance of wealth. But communism also created the rich top bureaucracy and the poor followers who had to stand in long unending queues in the cold to get bread, butter and something to eat. Communism failed miserably and gave slavery new definitions. Stalin’s achievements were made possible through slave labour. Those who refused slave labour were exiled to regions of bitter cold. There was no consideration for women who were also exiled and when they rioted they were killed by firemen shooting them down at close range. It was Gorbachev who called the final shots in dismantling the communist slave society.

When the wind of freedom blew through over I wrote: The red states of Europe are in different states of dress and undress. Karl Marx correct your steps, for once be clean shaven. For a change visit a pub with Gandhi. He will not drink but shall be glad to keep you company. Stalin put away your pose.

Go underground and hide in a box, the world has changed.

Vladimir come on out to taste freedom with Deng. And another piece on Herr Herman the Hitler guy: Under the Fuerer he worked. He would go to the camp clean with washed hands and sterilized hankies after kissing his lovely Austrian wife. He will salute the figure on glazed paper with the brush mustache which was in every room in the camp. He would call up his handsome adolescent clerks and opening the file call out the names as the sun glowed in Dachau woods. The clerks would line up the men, women, and children, whose names were called. Some women will have a bloated belly showing they are pregnant with babies. They will strip as the music played for a nourishing bath in the common bath. Down would come trouser and frock showing off nipples and belly and coruscated male zone and the female bone. In the bath first water then the oozing poison steam and all will in minutes fall down lifeless. The guards will come in and explore the jigsaw flesh including the open mouth to look for trinkets of gold and gold in tooth.

Herr Herman would see the dead and with an inner glee of doing his duty well on day and start tabulating the hoard. The gold, trinkets, wrist watches and disinfected clothing will go to the central registry. He was very honest and duty-bound; no thought of grabbing part of the gold for himself will cross his mind.

After washing his face and sipping sherry he will get into his black beetle car and go home. At his doorstep his wife and kids would be waiting for him. His wife would welcome him home with a kiss. He would hug is kids and go to bed calling it a day as routine an any other day


Other Books