Poems and Poetry

A Drop of Life | A Poem by Naduni

One semester of literary theories
Another of critical theories
That failed to change
Life, world and the unjust rule…

The Sunni hates the Shi’a
The Buddhist robe is
Haram for both of them
No Halal! Shout the Buddhists…
Lower castes contaminate the Brahmin women’s virgin blood
A Berawaya is not the match for a Govigama lady
Is it?

The poor are the earliest
To the polling booth
They vote for the frauds
The story-tellers
The gamblers, the rapists
Whose decree lets doctors rape impoverished women
Coming to state hospitals
To get a cough syrup
Free of charge

The elitist’s young daughter
Clad in a form fitting
Dress, tik-toks on the marble floor
Like a lazy clock
Idling till her boyfriend’s Prado comes
To pick her up and go to Kandalama
Where they spend the night
With a gang of friends
Who declares in her sweet, melodious voice
‘I hate politics, it ruins the peace of mind!
Why should people talk about such serious things?
I have sunny attitude towards my life!’
She who doesn’t know her inebriated body
Is the bed for the gang of boys in the deluxe room

But not Lechchami, who has taken
The responsibility of her life to her own hands
At nineteen years
She works in the tea estate
Perpetually looking
For a young bus conductor
Or an attendant in a hospital to come her way
To run away and start the life
Her mother started twenty years ago

At the elections
All of them run and vote
For a democracy they can’t digest
For an ‘equality’ they cannot comprehend
Forever waiting for one ruler or the other
To miraculously change their fate
Which the rulers themselves internalised
So shrewdly that they didn’t even sense

I sit to my table
A warm coffee in my hand
With a bar of an imported chocolate
To type my assignment on how to do a
Marxist analysis
To re-write for the thousandth time
A theory, previous undergraduates
Wrote in assignments and semester-end papers
While the poorer students
Quote and scream lines from Das Capital
In front of the university
But none of us had or have the time to change the world
We are too busy with studies and efforts to build a future
Seen as successful by the world which you wanted to change…

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