By Raeesa Usmani
Camera: The world within world
Your laughter tinkles every ring of a listener’s heart.
So natural it sounds
That none can call it a foul.
I am glad it appeals
So, what’s the task on hand, I execute?
A set-up is ready
Projecting a skeletal child
Lying in the heated desert
Counting the last breaths, all he has
Dying of hunger
Surrounded by cameras
Rushed from across the world
To not-miss the leaving life!
Am I standing by the dying child and laughing my eyes out?
No. you’re crying
Like a helpless, exhausted and hopeless mother
Seeing your child fleeing life
While all you can afford to do is
This is the world of camera, my dear
Equipped with as many masks as you like
All of them utterly convincing and alluring
Capable of portraying
Con as Real.
The one who knows the art of donning them
Can only be known as an artist among them!
Fighting: Of Different Kinds
That naïve, beautiful child having incredibly shiny eyes packed with Hope
That starving skin-and-bone child
Crying her eyes out of hunger and thirst is dying
Faster than a virus infected man does!
She is fighting with all her might for the Hope, her mother’s Empty Smile has given her.
She is fighting, not to taste victory but to survive!
They are dying of hunger, medicine, shelter and anyone-to-have-their-back when needed
Walking barefoot, under scorching sun, without water and food
With family, baggage and panting life
Chasing that blur silver line of Hope
Of reaching their land, among their people, in their home soon
They are fighting the battle, not to win but live!
That woman, a wife, mother, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, aunt and daughter
Once a full-of-life, smart, brainy, confident and strong headed woman
Is mulling over the very question since days
‘What can I do to make my husband, in-laws and parents feel satisfied?’
While patting the ice bag on her swollen face, red-balloon-like eyes with a broken hand.
She is fighting every moment, not to win but to resuscitate herself!
And then there are those images, posts, messages and videos
Of erudite, cultured and intellectual folks arguing which Color and Body to blame?
For the natural disaster, unveiled impartially by Mother Nature
Equally covering most of the nooks and corners of the earth.
They are also fighting, not to find solution but to escape the responsibility!
Raeesa Usmani is a research scholar. She expresses herself through poetry. She has a few poems published in various magazines and journals and e-zines.
Cafe Dissensus Everyday is the blog of Cafe Dissensus magazine, based in New York City and India. All materials on the site are protected under Creative Commons License.
Read the latest issue of Cafe Dissensus Magazine, “Poetics and politics of the ‘everyday’: Engaging with India’s northeast”, edited by Bhumika R, IIT Jammu and Suranjana Choudhury, NEHU, India.