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“A Walk To Remember” (Voice of a voiceless Migrant Worker during Pandemic)

By: Mandakini

With adequate job opportunities they seek
They moved to cities for a livelihood to meet
Now their hopeless face with unbalance & unshaped loads
They decided to walk back from where they belong
The helpless & distraught faces unveil more
Walking & walking like unreachable shore
Some in slippers, some in unfit shoe, some barefoot
Counting every little square foot
Some resting sideways,
Few others lurking for subways
Kids trying to match pace with their parents
Restless, walking in sun until dawn
Hunger and thirst, the only possession still with them
Now the roads seem their only true companion!
Do a little rain, quench a barren land thirst?
Then How can a bottle fill a man’s thirst?

As their images flashes across my phone’s screen
On social media, news and articles
Their faces took me back
To the pages of my Modern History Text Book
A Deja Vu like no other,
The Black and white photos of millions
Millions home rooted aground because of partition
The Pain in those pictures
And the pain in these pictures
A Deja Vu of Pain!

When their only hope is to reach their home
Their bodies may break but their will won’t
They accept this pain with a smile
Cause every step takes them closer to home
To their home that has hope
A ray of hope for their kids
A ray of hope for their families
But still their future uncertain,
For the world is cruel
And the choice was made for them
Either their earnings or their life
And they had to choose life
As where there is life
There is no end,
There is hope for another beginning!!

[The poet has completed BA (Hons) from Kamala Nehru College, University of Delhi and MA (Sociology) from Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi.
She also got Elite Certification in Sociology of Science 2019, NPTEL, IIT Roorkee]

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