Look at What We Built

This poem was originally published on 4 October 2017.

"Are you stable?"
The living room
Turns into an interview room;
The pack has pulled in its prey
And it's ready to attack.
Aunts and Uncles,
Asking why I'm not turning green,
Like my friends around me,
And some nephew of theirs,
I'd never meet.

"Are you set?"
Like the concrete is,
Of the Indian metropolis;
The car horns, smog, sweat – it’s crying,
Can’t you hear it as it’s dying?
Never mind, emergency services,
Won’t get there in time.
It’s choking on its rigidity
As politicians snort
Their blinded voter lines.

“Are you steady?”
They think they know,
A writer’s figures are oh so low!
The pack has tightened its vice,
And it’s ready to advise:
With my skill,
At best there’s a column in a paper,
I can write.
It pays okay,
And I should be all right.

But they’ve stifled a country,
At best I can create a world.
And if down the road they,
Say: “Look at what we built!”
I will ask them why they’re turning green,
When they’d turned me blue,
Spitting in yellow,
“Beta, we won’t say this
Straight to you,
So here’s a lakh of different ways
To say,
You’re pretty much doomed.”

“Otherwise are you happy?”
I sigh and let them have their say;
I don’t want to be the bigger man,
And I cannot wait for the day,
When I’ll turn around and laugh,
With a heart full of boom,
Raising a glass to the time,
I felt so alive,
In that goddamn living room.

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