Friday, 22 February 2008

To the dreamland and back

'To the dreamland and back' is dedicated to all those who are ready to give up all they have to travel to their dream lands and make money without being fully aware of what the dreamland has in store for them. This poem is an attempt to throw some light on the grim realities of international migration for the young people with little or moderate skills, without their families, friends, familiar culture and food in a foreign land. I hope that young people will invest their energies in building their villages and towns and making them better places to live and work.

Thirteen souls
left their homes,
left their villages to make their dreams come true
They gathered at the ‘Railway station’
They sat in the Bogey no.13
with dreams in their heads
and hopes in their hearts;
and travelled two nights
thinking of the bright days in El Dorado ;
Finally they arrived in New Delhi
Where they met another thirteen
At Paharganj
Brought from the villages of the north
By the scheming agents-
The dream-merchants ;
They ate , the played cards
And nursed their dreams
While visas were arranged;
The agents took their time
Ran here & there and everywhere
While the 26 nursed their dreams;
Finally visas were ready
Air-tickets were booked
There was joy among the dreamers
But now they had different routes;
The routes to Europe
The land of prosperity
The land of opportunity
Passed through different lands
Delhi-Kiev-Germany and so on;
The agent had assured them all
Employment with thousand bucks per month
In restaurants run by his friends;
But immigration was tight
And plans went wrong;
The agent was at loss
And fled with their air tickets and cash
They were left at large
In a dark hole in the city of white nights
With nothing to eat, nothing to drink
And with no money to buy anything;
They found they had not paid the rent
When the young land lady with a bottle of beer
Knocked at their door, shouting…
‘pay me rentttt…, renttttttttt…pay me zenigi...zenigi...’
Or else my boys will tear you tomorrow;
They were scared and terrified
They called for help
Searched for the disappeared agent
In the babble of drowning voices
But help was far…
The night fell
And the her boys arrived
‘Boys with vodka’
They drank and enjoyed
And she screamed with wild joys;
Then the fell upon the ‘dreamers’
Like hungry wild panthers
Bled them one by one…
Their violent screams filled the black space
But help was far
Hopes were shattered,
Dreams ruined
And they could not even go back home
Without ‘exit visas’
They had overstayed
They had broken the law of the land
And they awaited deportation;
A good Samaritan,
A fellow countryman
Came out with help
Offered them rice and breads
Offered them a place to live
Gave them dignity;
A fellow countryman
A good Samaritan
Helped them with exit visas and deportation;
A month passed by
They returned home
With mental scars
Hopes dashed
Hearts broken
Dreams shattered
Debts to be paid;
But they returned home
With steely determination
To build their lives,
Build villages,
And to build a new India
The India of their dreams.

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Blogger 1verse said...

Thanks for your comment earlier. I am glad you enjoy the poems and music. I just read your recent post and it is very descriptive I feel the despair and urgency.

23/2/08 4:48 am  
Blogger paisley said...

this is unfortunately a truth for many that seek a dream in the lands of plenty... humans preying upon humans... a very sad state of affairs....

23/2/08 7:08 am  
Blogger Abhay K said...

Hello 1verse and Paisley,
Our world has always had such sad state of affairs- in twentieth century alone, you know,how many people became victims of wars...the challenge for our generation is to put the foundations of a new century and a new millennium free from violence and exploitation.
Poets like you certainly help inspire people...

25/2/08 1:02 pm  
Blogger Chhaya said...

this is lovely!!!

27/2/08 7:57 am  

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