Priyadarshini is pursuing her final year B.Tech in Energy & Environmental Engineering from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), Coimbatore. She is presently doing an internship on Youth and Climate Change in South Asia at the Center for Environment Education (CEE), Ahmedabad. The following poem was penned by her after a visit to a slum.
Is it their mistake?
By Priyadarshini. B
I wonder if it is their mistake to be like that?
The day, a single thought that made a spark in my darkened mind.
One should not sit inside large rooms and talk about sustainable development,
Visit a slum and you will know what sustainability really means……
You live in a good room, still aiming for a better one?
Think about them – a house made full of waste you throw away,
and can’t imagine if rain comes? They sustain still…….
The room was not so very big, but it was to them!
Full of their possessions not really what we mean,
Jewels not really their torn clothes
Aside in a corner of theirs, we still want a new fashion…..
The plastic containers which you throw are their vessels for water storage
safely stored in the safest place, outside of their house!
I could see those children playing with their lively stuff
but it was a poor thing the street puppy!
Unable to resist but in one way giving a moment of happiness to them…
The children were playing with the match box covers
as their playing cards
in a shaded place of their thatched house
yet not so small but it was they
Still adjust to be. Still they sustain!
There came a street vendor,
where the little children around him
desired to get in, but unable
since the cost of them was around 10 rupees
hardly which was very huge amount for them…..
Their powerful street lights along the streets down till the last home
Of the streets hoping to glow one day
since they don’t have bulbs in them to do so!
Their streets were full of stones and scraps
not to level but it was the dumping place of the brainless owners.
Those people don’t have a foot wear too.
Still they walk and work on that!
A girl with lot of family responsibilities and duties
when our parents tell us that we are still kids at the age of ten.
She was quite matured like a mother
looking after her baby sister in the bright hot sun!
How peacefully they sleep in their cots
without even knowing that the hot sun
is asking for their place to share with them
to show his time & might.
The long walk made us so weary
that we felt so very thirsty
And we were rarely confused to find out a better house
and safe water to drink around.
But they drink the same and sustain still!
We wanted to be there still
but time and heavy heart
made us move like a breeze to our nest.
I am shattered and my mind is wandering
unable to accept our mistakes, still confused???
We consume more than what we need.
But they consume less than what they really need.
“It is all mine”, when this will turn out “this is all ours”??
Then not only the country, the whole world will sustain!!!
There is a lot to tell from the heart
but still the words are not given the form of speech,
I am unstuck with words!!! Silence prevails,
Wondering a magic to happen to turn out all these…
The author can be contacted at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org