The village we lived in was a heaven on earth,
From tall trees, chirping birds, and the smell of cashew.
We’d grow our crop, and nurture it from birth;
Solution to spoilt crop, came with a helicopter that flew.
‘Endosulfan’, the medicine is sprayed,
On trees, on flowers, on rivers, on tars.
And just when, the crops had the pathway laid,
The medicine helped us feast on cheap fish, but sour!
And then we heard cries, from mothers far and near,
But our crop kept us happy, we lent no ear.
I too was a mother soon, like every mothers baby
She was my boon, even though my in-laws claimed-
“She looks like a cartoon!”
But my sister, bore children like this,
And so did my best friend; the neighbours child now lisped.
The snake’s spell continued to hiss,
And I waded my child, good-bye, with one last kiss.
I ran from raja to sarkara, adhikara to adhikari,
To ail us from this misery, to help us through our tyranny.
They promised us food, they promised us life;
But continued- our deformed births, and deaths, many.
They see us in pain, they hear our cries.
“Please believe our fate, we say no lies.
We have no legs, we have no hands
Some food, some water, some clothes; we need no brands!”
Of hundred that we protest today, we’d have only ninety tomorrow,
We’d have seventy the day after, but you’re still the master!
We beg, we plead, don’t keep us hungry for your greed.
If nothing, give us a compensation for the beloved deceased.
Mervyn D’Silva is a student of journalism at St Aloysius College (Autonomous), Mangaluru
The Invisible Agony