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Poem - Undistort the Distortion

As I sat by the window,
sipping a coffee I just bought,
I inhaled the aroma wafting through the café.
A few moments of calm, I sought.

Yet again, I heard the words,⁣
“I can’t eat anymore! Not a single morsel.”⁣
A plate casually dumped in the bin.
The food wastage here, was colossal.⁣

“You shouldn’t be throwing it that way!”⁣
I burst out, alarmed.⁣
The little girl looked at me bemused,⁣
“I’m full. What’s the harm?”⁣

“The ambition of that cauliflower’s life,⁣
was to be eaten by someone.⁣
To provide nutrients to their body,⁣
and nourish them in the long run.”⁣

As I tried to explain to the child,⁣
the enormous effort that goes into food production,⁣
some adults dumped their food in the bin,⁣
while I groaned in exasperation.

All bark and no bite,
that was all the city folk did.
They’d be enraged when prices of cereals rose.
Throw food, and no one bats an eye lid.

I thought of how my father worked on the fields,
his back bent like a scythe.
His hands and feet calloused,
I had never seen him be blithe.

The city dwellers will never know,
the anguish of a farmer, increasing with each passing day.
When the effort they put in for months,
is either parched or washed away.

If only the tears they cried, could end
the village’s streak of droughts.
Or their prayers to the Gods, could make
the flood water change its routes.

While the farmers struggled
to keep body and soul together,
the government announced some compensation
and pretended to solve the crisis altogether.

I did not expect the city folk to be so callous,
debating over fancy proposed solutions.
These would only palliate the situation at hand,
not help us survive nature’s retribution.

Undistort the distortion!
Think, for a minute.
Why are we blatantly disrespecting basic needs?
Food, clothing and shelter, we learnt, are the essentials.
Use them wisely. Pay heed.

I think of my father, the man
who went against the grain,
to ensure that I move to the city,
so that I escaped, what was his life’s bane.

It is time to stop the palaver now.
Food is indispensable, for each village and city alike.
The sense of entitlement we wear so lightly,
will leave us in shambles, all alike.


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About the Author

Akhila Joshi

Akhila Joshi

Hey there :) Calling myself a writer seems a little too good to be true, so I just say: I write. I also like exploring new places and music when I'm not curled up reading a book or binge-watching.