I’m Not A Bhopali Just Yet

June 10, 2010

Manjul Bajaj

Today I woke up to a strange conundrum
Am I a Bhopali or am I not
It takes a few seconds to say I am one
on a Facebook page
And it costs nothing
But I can’t bring myself to –
at least not yet
I know Facebook is good and Twitter is better
To reach out to people and
get them to care about causes that matter
But I can’t bring myself to –
at least not just yet.

It costs nothing and is simple to do
As simple as pressing a button which
says I AM A DUDE
As costless as a tarot reading
Or consulting Anita the online psychic
Not as entertaining as playing Poker
or Scrabble
but better perhaps than that
Farmville thing
But I can’t bring myself to –
at least not yet

“Oh stop being such an insufferable prig”
A little voice whispers
and I try not to shout back at it
The numbers and the statistics –
The full magnitude of the disaster
The complete travesty of justice made
For I know, I know these numbers only
because of an invite to that FB page
So I decide I will join cause
Press that button on that FB page
But I can’t bring myself to –
at least not yet.

First, I’ll take a few minutes
and write out a cheque
I know money is not everything
It will not bring back the dead
Or make us citizens of another nation
where justice is subverted less
But money’s language is less ambiguous
It says I am sorry for your pain
And sorry for my own helplessness
in the face of it
In the complex arithmetic of my life
This is the number I have been able to put
to our brotherhood
It is little but I hope that somewhere
it will all add up

So for the moment
I am not a Bhopali,
not just quite yet
I’m just an old fashioned woman
trying to make my way around
supporting causes
in a new fangled world.
But I do hope to get there soon.


चलती हुई ज़िन्दगी का ठहराव

December 4, 2009

आज फिर भर आई हैं यह आँखें
क्या करूँ , कमबख्त मानती ही नहीं
कितना समझाया कि मुझे इससे क्या
मेरा इससे के क्या वास्ता
पर फिर भी बार बार भर आती हैं …
तमाम शोरगुल के बीच निकलकर
आती हुई सिसकियाँ …
अनजाने में ही भेद देती हैं अंतर्मन को ..
हवा में घुली वो बेजुबान सिसकियाँ
मेरी बेबसी को और बड़ा देती हैं
और में इस बेबसी के बचने के लिए
स्वयं को इन सब के दूर कर लेता हूँ …
…लेकिन वो ज़मीं जिस पर में रोज़ चलता हूँ
वो पानी जी रोज़ पीता हूँ
वो हवा जिसमे रोज़ सांस लेता हूँ
रोज़ मुझे मेरे इसका हिस्सा होने का एहसास दिलाती है
पर में स्वयं को इससे दूर कर लेता हूँ
समस्त एहसास और जिम्मेदारियों के दूर …
…शायद एक और ऐसी रात का इंतज़ार …
ताकि में अपनी निष्क्रियता कि जंजीरों को हटा पाऊँ …
…पर तब तक हर साल यह आँखें
यूँ ही तारीखों कि तरह भारती रहेंगी
और जाती हुई हवाओं के साथ सूख भी जाएँगी .
कहते हैं ज़िन्दगी ऐसी ही चलती है
पर क्या वाकई ऐसा होता है..
बस एक बार ३ दिसंबर १९८४ से रूबरू तो हो
… तो जानोगे कि चलती हुई ज़िन्दगी का ठहराव क्या होता है …


Song, 2

December 3, 2009

Annie Zaidi

Poison breath, poison blood
Poison milk, poison mud
Poison pump, poison tap
Poison in your mama’s lap
Eyes of milk, limbs askew
Dow child mine, is that you?

Baby-making, weird art
Many arrive with half their parts
You don’t know the nuts and bolts
Little girls bleed, women don’t
There’s mercury and chromium too
Dow child mine, is that you?

Applications, admin blues
So many don’ts for one big do
Petition-petition boring game
How to run if you are lame
Dharna-dharna, starve and sue
Dow child mine, is that you?

Leader comes, toxin pet
Says I’m fine, not dead yet
He fought toxin long ago
Now he’s paid for, top to toe
Back bent whole, toothless too
Dow child mine, is that you?

© Annie Zaidi, December 2009