Curfew: Day 48

Five migrant workers (travelling home in a truck 
loaded with mangoes, killed in a road accident)

This summer of the sun that is and the light that
isn’t. This summer of waiting in queues – the

line of the poor, the line of the poorly, the line
that cannot go all the way home. This summer

of mangoes, red with blood, scattered on a
highway. This summer of overturned empathy.

This summer of counting – minutes and dead
and the number of meanings for ‘distance’ – as

noun, as verb, as antonym for living. This summer
that is the Trojan horse dragged into the city centre,

silence stuffed inside its distended belly. How will
the looming monsoon ever wash this summer away?


all things kneel
before the new normal –
even us, even memories

For the millions of migrant workers making their way back to villages and towns in the hinterland, thousands on foot,walking hundreds of kilometres, as livelihoods are destroyed during the lockdown and hunger becomes a greater threat than disease.

Also read:
Curfew: Day 47

3 thoughts on “Curfew: Day 48

  1. I often think of all those without homes, walking in search of shelter. Those of us who have shelter and some security have little to complain about, with so many struggling to stay alive with few resources. Wonderfully written, Rajani. You are documenting these times so well.


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