By Umang Kumar
I think I can see our village
shimmering in the heat
in the distance –
just wait for me
don’t start your lunch yet baba
I am coming to join you all –
Have been walking for three days now
my throat is parched
I will need a
glass of cold water
and plenty of rice baba
with some khatti bhaji and
red chutney –
you all have enough rice, na, baba?
I have been dreaming about
all the dishes ma cooks
I am very hungry, haven’t eaten much
for the past three days –
you heard of the lockdown, na, baba
big disease coming they said,
get out get out
no work suddenly, nothing to eat
so we began walking –
no time to rest baba,
my feet are sore,
and pricked by thorns,
we walked the jungles
to avoid roads and police –
when I reach, I’ll pet our
goat and hug little brother Kurlo
then I will sit down to eat
and won’t be finished till all the food is finished –
you will widen your eyes as if in surprise
oh you finished all the rice
you will ruffle my hair
we will all laugh!
See, your Jamlo is almost home!
I am not going back there anymore, baba.
Umang Kumar is a writer based in the National Capital Region of Delhi.
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.