February 28, 2015


Prerna Bakshi is a sociolinguist, research scholar and writer of Indian origin, currently based in Macao.  She has contributed essays and articles to a variety of publications including The Hindu, CounterCurrents, Amar Ujala, and Desh Bandhu to name a few.  Her poetry has been published in peer reviewed journals such as Muse India and is forthcoming in several publications.  

On A Call With Death

Hello.  How are you?

Not well.  At All.  
You know how it goes.  

Hmm...What are your plans for today?

Not much.  Work and work some more.  More than the actual work, the hardest part is to survive -- Just enough to somehow make it to the next day -- Just enough so I can live.
Live enough to die again.  
Die so I can live enough.  It's a vicious cycle.  It goes on. 

I get resurrected.  Like Jesus.  
"Jesus died for your sins", they say.  
Well, I die for the sins of the rich.  
Each day.

Oh well.  Looks like you have a lot on your plate right now.  
I guess, I might see you tomorrow then.

The Boy Who Sold Balloons

Amidst the lights, noise in a bustling city

Known as New Delhi

With families out for their little outing,

All with their best clothes on,

I hear a distant noise shouting:

"Come and buy these colourful balloons!"

"Got them in many colours from blue to maroon!"

Says the boy out loud

Who must've been 13 at most

With bare feet and ragged clothes

Holding balloons in his hands

He walks miles and miles

Hoping for someone to buy

He awkwardly smiles

He puts on a smile until his jaw hurts

Walks until his feet could no more

Feeling dejected yet hopeful

Thinks he might score

So out comes a family from a fancy restaurant

As they head toward their expensive car

The child points to balloons

Wonders what they are

Demanding them

He grows excited

Parents signal, "Oi! Balloon boy!"

And he gets invited

Placing a few cents, into his hand

They trade for a balloon 

Flying high in the air

Seemed it could go up to the moon

But it was bound by the string that was

In the hands of the rich

Similar to the plight of the balloon boy

With the difference being almost zilch

The Homeless Man

He was there

Photo Courtesy of Helen Hill
Yet he was not


But ignored

As hundreds of shiny shoes

Walked passed him everyday

While he sat in the corner of this wall

On the ragged piece of cloth

Right in the middle of the bustling city

Where rarely anyone bothered to take pity

Or say hello

After all, his humanity is 'not' to be acknowledged

We should know!

We go about not acknowledging it every day

Have become so immune to others' suffering

And looking away

So there came a day

When gone was the man

With only his ragged cloth left behind

As a marker, perhaps, of our ragged souls 

And ragged minds.

~Prerna Bakshi

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