Curfew: Day 53

24 migrant workers (travelling on top of a loaded truck,
were killed in an accident, on a highway far from home)

no eternal flame/ no memorial/ no statues/ no
flower lined graves / not even a bunch of poppies/ not
even names scratched on a crumbling wall/ though this
is still a war/ though there are still dead people/ people that
nobody knew/ whose stories will never be told/ just a
swollen statistic contains all that they will never be/ I ask
in whose name does the Ganga still flow/ in whose name do
the mountains still stand/ in whose name do we carry
on because lunch is still at 12.30 and dinner at 07.00/ and
sometime before dawn/ many people will be born and many
people will die/ that’s for the moon to make sense of/ what
do we owe dreams that are waiting at home/ for the sleepless
to arrive/ what do we owe roads that never reach/ what
does it matter because this is what was meant to be/ all that
is unfair will be washed away in another forgettable rain/

dear universe
if you can’t be just –
then just be kind today

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 52


30 thoughts on “Curfew: Day 53

    1. Thank you, Sarah. It really is heartbreaking. Day after day we watch the visuals from the safety of our homes – someone rightly said, the virus didn’t break our system, it ripped open the veil and showed us how broken it truly is.


  1. Yes, the migrant workers had it hard being ejected for the cities where they hoped they could earn an income. Let’s hope they manage to reach home and are reunited with their families.


    1. Yeah, the countries that went into lockdown and came out of it at the right times and used the intervening pause to prepare…will be successful. Everywhere else, the poorest will pay the price.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You have captured the pathos and tragedy of this terrible event and in doing so you’ve given the dead their eternal flame and scratched their names on a virtual wall, Rajani. Sadly, life will carry on with no tangible trace of any of the people we have lost to this pandemic and those lost because of the lack of kindness in the modern world.


    1. Thanks so much, Kim. That’s very kind. The size of the problem is so broad here that one just can’t keep up with the stories of devastation and suffering. So much is lost already and so much more hangs by a thread. We are just watching, overcome by grief and guilt.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. One of the first things that I saw this morning was the front page of the New York Times with names of 1000 of the dead here in the US, a small percentage of the total number. That was sobering enough, but then comes this powerful reminder that there are (and will continue to be) so many “nameless” people who succumb to this disease.


    1. Yes, that was a powerful statement by the NYT. We really need to look at this beyond those numbers – those that the virus killed and those devastated by the lockdown. Thanks, Rommy.


  4. I can’t help but feel that the memorial should be thankfulness in the face of every careful pyramid in the grocery stores, the shine in every office and mall as it opens in the morning…and in every lever pushed in a voting booth.


  5. This is heartbreaking 😦 I can’t imagine what these poor souls are going through. Extending a prayer for things to get better.


  6. This moved me to tears. Someone’s mother, someone’s brother, someone’s child … It is so hard to grasp the meaning of it all, and I agree one feels helpless to consider the magnitude of angst.


  7. Breaks my heart…The world took a devastating turn and I wonder if we will be kinder when we get to the other side of this pandemic.


    1. I think those who were kind before will have their kindness expanded… maybe nothing profound will come out of this, ultimately. I hope I am wrong, though.


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