This poem is penned for the prompt at Skeptic Kaddish where the poets were asked to write a poem following these rules
12 lines of free verse;
Must include the adjective “adorable”
The Mulberry Cottage still stands firm
The gladioli,Lilies and orchids still dance with the wind,
One part of garden looks loftier with tons of leaves some wild begonia, twigs and daisies
And a silent creature- rests within.
I often wonder would Miss Mackenzie,
Be thinking about her flowers
And the house, her cat Wily and
‘One electric bulb’* would she still ask?
Was she smiling adorably when her body felt,
The ‘grunt’ and the ‘tup’ of that shovel,
And the precious book of wildflowers she gave me
Would she not give it one more stroll, a caress?
*The poem is inspired by the short story ‘The Prospect of Flowers’ by the eminent author Ruskin Bond.
The Mulberry Cottage is the house of an English spinster Miss Mackenzie. There is nothing extraordinary in her life until she finds a boy plucking flowers in her garden. Together they both come together to study flowers in a book filled with many names of different species. Time flies fast, the boy goes afar and she dies, cold in her bed. I imagined her to be buried within a bed of flowers and the visit of the boy after his vacations…
*One electric bulb I would care to explain. She one time exclaimed to the boy to gift her some electric bulbs for hers always flickered and his father did a business of electric bulbs.
Its been 14 days? Or 15? since our last post! Hello everyone, welcome back( or rather trying to say welcome back to ourselves after a long time). School has taken advent, pressure and enjoyment are at the highest but we will keep our pace at this blog!
A short note
Life at school has been hectic and it had been difficult to juggle up tons of homework with self study. Detractors, teachers, distractions and pressure: all this had/has to be managed. There are no reasons to feel unhappy, sad or pressurized that is what we both tell ourselves in those extraordinary days. Emotions though need to be managed properly If you are facing something similar, you are probably stuck in processes which need change.’
This post is a continuation of the Not-So-Political Series:
History is filled with struggles for freedom and democracy, however it is clear that the question isn’t just about attaining mainstream freedom but the main challenge is maintaining the liberal attitude towards the people after becoming an independent nation. While we witness the dynamic Russia-Ukraine war, an impending crisis which is attacking the very right to independence of a country, there are a series of unlooked military takeovers, where democracy has been an idea deep under the sands . The unnoticed situation in Africa.
It is a land of varying climatic conditions which led to formation of many tribal groups having diverse cultures.
But over the years what could be its strength (cultures), became its weakness.
Soon after its independence Africa has witnessed many military takeovers which continuously uprooted the elected governments. The political situation is often uncertain since the region of West Africa is filled with deep seated unrest due to shifting of many militant groups in its soil.
Mali, a tiny country in western region of Africa, became a region of unrest. After 1995, a group known as Tuareg Rebels came to light again in 2012 when they attacked some regions of Mali. They seem intolerable in the region which deserves some peace and lesser deaths. Less people giving up their breath everyday. Less human induced deaths.
Let’s take you to another story. The story of yet another country facing the same situation – Niger.
Niger has seen the opportune of democracy in 2021 only when Mohamed Bazoum, a former interior minister was democratically sworn in as the leader of the country. But it is still difficult to say that there would not be another military takeover or an instability or a bomb for Niger which has for a long time been in a period of darkness.
The country has witnessed five different constitutions in the past always promising a different kind of system for its people showing that seeping in conflict and instability, it could not discover its tryst with destiny. It still hasn’t.
People live under constant fear. Schools are closed for children leading to high illiteracy levels which can turn them towards extremist views. The lives of people are at the side-lines.
After having a bird’s eye view it is evident that despite the citizens of this region preferring democracy over terrorism, they are so exhausted with instability that they’re willing to give in to military leaders. As a result a large no. of people have robustly supported military takeovers and joined militant groups for benefits.
Countries like France, U.S have been engaged in Africa to eliminate these terrorist groups. But have they as big powers been successful really? The answer is no.
France has been engaged in Mali for a long time. When military takeovers have been successful, such countries have outrightly threatened to remove support. When the wave would be good, they can, thus again join in their efforts to eliminate terrorist groups. There is no space to see the lives of people as they are.
They have underscored the problems, the ethnic diversities, unemployment, lack of respect of civil rights institutions and reduced role of people in the very same countries. They are pressing the idea for establishment of democracy, or else they threaten to withdraw their support. They press the demand for a democracy in countries where the military is gaining all power. They press for stability and peace while investing more in military and arms rather than civil institutions. So, what is freedom you ask?
And ultimately climate change worst of all. West Africa is facing increased food and water scarcity. Temperatures are soaring high and regions are turning into deserts. Africa is a confluence of a variety of tribal cultures but also has become one of climate change, military takeovers, militancy.
So don’t you think the problem is with the argument itself? The goal of ending terrorists by killing and uprooting its every means is unachievable. If Africa ‘s civil institutions are not given a chance, if they are not taught the right way, the country will plunge again and again As Noam Chomsky an American critic points ” everyone is worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there’s really an easy way: Stop participating in it.”. Military is never a solution. It will only scare more, and cause more worms to come out of their holes.
The night was cold and torrid winds blew kissing the roofs of all the houses in the colony. Ramu kaka’s little paan shop faced the road which veiled itself into darkness as it entered the ‘AMAR COLONY’. He shook his head and stretched his face up in a grimace. The LED bulbs were flickering, more often than not leaving the shop in complete darkness. Lightning trudged up in the sky. Ramu Kaka’s grimace in its light appeared like a sad smile. He took breaks by instinct, to observe the prevailing darkness and silence, and cleaned his sweat and went on back to work. The perfect silence was blurred by the occasional howls of dogs and cats and screeches and whispers. But as he stood upon the frail stool, balancing himself and his screwdriver, and his brows shot up, it appeared that none of the disturbances mattered more to Ramu Kaka…