This post is a part of the blog-a-thon by World Vision India on Youth Ki AwaazDo you know what hunger feels like? Do you know what it is like to work without food and sleep on an empty belly? Do you know how those millions of people who struggle for every single morsel every single day of their lives feel? Through the story of a young girl, travel through the bitter palpable taste that shocks your senses into numbness:
VIDEO TRANSCRIPT (FOR POETRY)Behind the curtain of brackish brown hair Caked with the breath of a dying hope Meshed like the wires of a broken basket That I sometimes see that lady carry Across the street, filled with apples And apricots and cherries and all things good, My mouth salivates, But then, I wonder how I must look in the mirror; No, that lady didn’t bring that basket for me Why would she? I chant it like a broken tape recorder She doesn’t know me and if she ever looks at me, All she must see is one of those nameless faces In the crowd, whose eyes peek out In longing, like the fruits from her basket, And she sneers; does she think we are thieves? Well, she’s not wrong, we might as well be, if – If we could get away with it, and as such There’s been a thought or two in my head That consumes my entire being Whenever that eternal gnawing in my belly Whenever that dull ache, whenever that stubborn throb, Once in a while, becomes a mute struggle Of not keeling over with pain, I persevere, I persevere, I persevere Nothing can be done; I want to cry, but you can’t hear, My voice doesn’t touch an apathetic ear The tears have dried; my heart is hollow, And I’m still standing hunched over a puddle of blood Clutching my big bloated belly with bony hands That are still bleeding from last week’s labor, And now my mouth is also shining red, I wonder how I must look in the mirror; I am burning up, My breaths are shallow, my head is dizzy But I – I’m still working So that I can at least fill my belly With a stale bread at night You see, I’ve stopped stealing half-eaten dinners From the bins across the street Last time my friend did it she slept And in her sleep She tossed, she frothed and she bled And she never woke up again Sometimes I wish I had been in her stead Because I can’t bear this hopelessness alone I can’t return from this godforsaken shantytown Languishing in the heart of a merciless city To my home in the village with my parents Who a few years ago had sold me, the seventh daughter To some company, for a few thousand dollars And I – I forgave them, you would too if you saw their Skeletal ghostly frames, hungry stomachs and lifeless eyes Hanging onto this earth by a stroke of misfortune, You see, we the poor, we the hungry, we the malnourished We the society’s dregs who are kicked daily by the mercenaries By the law, by the war, by our poverty, by your apathy, We, who barely survive by the day at the precipice And barely get sleep with this empty belly at night, We either live like the roaches or die like the moths We are as desensitized to life as we are to death Perhaps that’s why I can admit that today – Today, I’m feeling a little too drained And dizzy and drowsy I’m still burning up like the sun And I think I might just pick up something from the bin For I think this is my last breath, yes tonight, I won’t wake up again, and I – I’d like it Of my own volition, of my own choice, of my own desire I’d like to be able to choose to die As I couldn’t choose to live
this is a really heart-touching poem… it was beautifully written. i have been looking for measures to help abolish hunger from india and i found an organisation which collects excess food from parties or restaurants and feeds it to the needy. it’s a nice way to stop wastage of food and at the same time help those in need.
see if you can give it a push on your blog .
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Thank you 🙂 And yes, I will try my best.