We’re so proud of the New India! Driving back
to my village – dirt road now concrete.
Soaping myself down in the tank? Nothing doing!
I was first out, out of life on the land – our wealth
back then. The soil fed us, built our house too.
Tools, clothes, we bought from our rice.
His name was Adam, ‘hippy trail’ American,
strolled in among our houses, breathing out chewing gum
in self-congratulation. Swapped my torn shirt for his T-shirt
with English writing I couldn’t read of course.
Later I found it said: “Global Village”
I bet Aunty still uses it for a rag to wipe the tools.
We all wanted what Adam had: trainers for bare feet,
Coca Cola, T-shirts, motorbikes, money!
The village he left was infected – with discontent.
Papa is so proud of me, Government job, no less!
Environmental Engineer, 4th Grade, this is my District:
I’ve come about the new flooding problem.
Never in our village history: elders lost for
the weather, monsoon wanders the calendar,
survival is the money I send.
You know what? We never thought about
being happy or not. Never compared.
Why would we? There was nothing else. Just weather.