Walk away into the other room.Walk away.
What will I find there except a void
full of all that is not the previous room.
A better void because it is
not filled with all that will cause me
to react to a clueless voice.
That will keep my mind from meandering
in search of a reason
for the unreasonable. I pick up a magazine
look hard at the pictures without
really seeing anything at all.
Thus blinded I stare.
Blinking back dry eyes
that have long spent their reservoir.
If I were a river
I would be written about.
Children would play in my dry sands
Older folk would talk of the good ole days
when it was so full of monsoon water.
How they lived off the massive fish of those waters
and grew their paddy there
and washed their babies on its banks
and went rowing on a Sunday afternoon
in a home-made boat of jack wood.
I focus hard on the magazine..
its pictures show starving
Indian children.They make excellent copy
in western magazines.Slum Dogs
Some bright Britisher dared to call them that.
His movie was nominated ten times. He won eight..
Nobody protested enough.
And India was thrilled that the white man
bequeathed her an Oscar.. nay two! !
There are women in India everywhere
who will smile as they feed a stranger's children.
Come they will say. Eat. Thank you
for receiving this food that I give you with my love.
Thank you for toting up points of goodness for me
so I will pass on comfortably
into another heaven when I die.
Thank you for being impoverished
so I can be rich with heavenly blessings.
Thank you for strengthening the promise.
Thank you for emboldening me
to keep my eyes very wet!
Famida Basheer's Other Poems
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