Our newspapers, these days, are preoccupied with things that don’t bring much cheer in the daily lives of ordinary common people. See above. These are front pages of Hindustan Times dated 16th and 17th November 2019.
Prices of basic food items like onions and tomatoes are sky rocketing and the media is not talking about it as freely as it ought to. It looks like some government person sits down with an editing pencil and orders removal of everything it finds objectionable in the pre-print newspaper copies.
And the most worrisome thing is that while the farmers, the producers, get only peanuts for their labor, 90% of the astronomical prices we pay goes into the pockets of middlemen and traders who have learnt to keep the prices high by manipulating the supplies through hoarding. Read this article. It’s quite an eye opener.
While we end-consumers try to save for the rainy days by scrimping and controlling our consumption of high-priced food items, the farmers end up dumping their farm produce on the streets after having wasted their precious, hard-earned resources on their farms. Many commit suicide out of sheer desperation Very tragic indeed. Something that we common people will never forgive our government for.
We are now in the middle of November 2019 and unlike previous years, the prices of vegetables are far too high, Rs.60 per kg onwards. We are told that enough vegetables are not available as they got destroyed in excessive rains. This is a flimsy excuse, as rain disturbances are a perennial phenomenon. Something that the government needs to prepare adequately for.
Their focus, however, is only on electoral gains and the most alarming part is that they are callously allowing nation’s power and money to go into the hands of a few. We seem to be turning into an oligarchy.
We must rise up against this trend and force our government to wake up before it gets too late. Otherwise onions and tomatoes will have to be consumed like dry fruits.
A few days ago, in October 2019, on my way home from work, I heard an e-rickshaw driver calling out in Hindi,
“Chahiye ek savari,
Halki ho ya bhari,
Nar ho ya nari!”
His co-passengers were giggling. I also chuckled as I mentally translated this into English. The translated version too sounded very good.
Here it is.
“Need just one more passenger.
Of whatever gender.
Lighter or heavier.”
Like plants, even poems sometimes spring up in the most unlikely places, don’t they?
Well, I stretched the poem a little bit more. It was so much fun! Here you go.
We will move further,
Ahead, past the boulder.
You are sadder or happier
Today, it doesn’t matter.
See if you can add some more lines to it. I would love to know.