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I carry this jute,

Riding on a rickshaw-

Pulled by this insignificant, laborer and a conquered man with no soul.

He lives in the same country as me, his forefathers too did.

But, he is dark with no education, culture or sense of politics.

The land he ploughed kept shrinking, his spirit knows no wounds.

I sit on this tripod of  a vehicle dragged by his hunger.

There is even a rag to protect me from sunburns, for him there’s none;

All this because I have this paper imprinted with my country’s history,

Which he have none, neither the bill nor the history.

His hunger is his history, politics, democracy and his God.

 

A few armed men search my empty bag twice, a few yards apart.

They ask me who I am? What’s my country and the purpose of my visit?

Me only me, they ask all this, not the laborer- hunger has no country, they know.

Then there comes a bump in the road, it’s supposed to be the definition of territory.

The plantations, the grasses and the mules  all oblivious, oblivious even to this irony.

I reach the store, buy some cereals and pulses and coffee too, its cheaper here.

The jute, it is not. I give them the bills (with the history of my country) to him, he is paid.

I pay with my history for my present.

The lands the same, but my history isn’t much fertile.

All this while the rickshaw- puller watches me emotionless, wiping himself off sweat.

I hop-in and he starts pedaling again. The road-the bump- armed soldiers-plantations- mules-

And I am back home, to my own country, I pay the laborer a 10 cigarettes worth history and he goes away. Image

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