Lunger Pur - Poem by Khadim Hussain
Bela, an island,
Two miles long and a mile across,
In river Jhellum.
Western shores dotted with
Makdoo Pur, Puajal Pur and Dokh,
Lunger Pur at the centre.
No electricity or modern trappings.
In merciless summer,
Most suffered the relentless heat and dust,
Day and night, night and day,
Before relief came with monsoon rains.
We lived in the protective cradle,
Of river Jhellum,
Wind cooled by melt by melt,
Himalayan glaciers waters.
Others endured sweltering nights,
Sleeping on roof tops,
We harvested the breeze,
Cooled by the flowing waters.
River Jhelum in full vigour,
Our ever vigilant guard,
Livestock left unattended
Even at night,
Lock and keys a novelty.
In this paradise,
Children grew carefree,
Like the wind through the leaves,
Or birds; singing in the trees.
Swam in its cool waters,
Played on it banks,
Sent home by the red glow
Of the setting sun.
Then the dam was built,
For electricity and irrigation,
To towns and districts,
Far and unknown,
The paradise called Bela was lost.
In a mansion,
To apportion India,
Four brown faces and a white.
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