September is the Cruelest Month,Babu

assam nrc protest

September is the cruelest month, babu

We are daily labourers

We are kiln workers

We are domestic maids

We are casual agricultural hands

It is a lean season, babu

And we are pushed to the walls

Of seasonal hunger and recurring wounds

We sell pots and pans

And keep our empty stomachs at bay

It is the month of diarrhea and diseases of skin, babu

Construction sites, fields and brick kilns

Are quietly sleeping

Where do we find work?

Harvesting has not begun yet

And we have no plots to harvest either

But bazaar burns us

Whatever we collect at day’s end

Goes to buy atta, rice and dal

Babu, in September nobody beats drum for us

Shiuli is scentless, and even

Kaash flowers forget to dance for us.

 

September is preceded by countrywide cries against NRC,

Delhi riots, slashed limbs in gutters, pandemic horrors,

Farmers’ protest and barren yards of four hundred plus peasants,

Job losses, downsizing!

 

September sky is still filled

With hate speeches of muscles flexing thugs,

The air is thickened with false promises,

Treacherous winds and armies of dead nights. 

Abu Siddik teaches at Plassey College, West Bengal, India. He is a bilingual author and has been  published in India and abroad. He has three critical books— Representation of the Marginalized in Indian Writings in English (Falakata College Cell, 2015), Misfit Parents in Faulkner’s Select Texts (Authorspress, 2015), Banglar Musolman (Sopan, 2018); two poetry books and a short story, published by Authorspress in 2020 —Rugged TerrainWhispering EchoesA Birdwatcher and Other Stories.  Website: www.abusiddik.com

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