Half-happy with India turning into a Trillion Dollar Economy

When half of my nation sleeps
with half-filled bellies, under the half-roofs,
with half-hopes of a mouthful tomorrow,

when half of my nation grows up with half-rights
to education and employment,
with half-health produces babies, with a half-heart
chokes before the stoves that burn wood,
and cook half-water curries made with half-salt,

when half-length men walk the streets
half-naked, willing to work for half-wages,
half-grown women slip into beds at half-price,

when half-sane leaders pocket half-funds,
and divide the nation into halves that fight,
(haves and not-haves all half-fooled)
when half-castes organize into brigands,
and seek half-reservation for their half-intellect,

when half of the news is of rapes, riots, extortions,
half-nation worries about Naxalists, Maoists, terrorists,
half-resolved cases haunt the courts,
where victims of the crime wait half-lives
for half-compensations,

when half-history is distorted or concocted,
sacrifices of men like Gandhi half-known, half-respected,
when half-heritage is lying like wreckage, and half-religions
have pocketed half-faith and finished the better half,

when half-talented sportsmen cloud TV with ads,
half-naked woman talk of modernism with half-minds,
half-cultured men, hypocrites, type half-lies into their
tax returns, and half-acknowledge their sexual slights,

when half of my nation cannot even read or hear my voice,
and other half will ignore it by their own choice,
and half-close their eyes to see half-blessed dreams
of half-American lives.

 

 

Vivek Sharma is an assistant professor of chemical engineering at University of Illinois, Chicago. His research interests lie in optics, dynamics, elasticity and self-assembly (odes) of complex fluids and soft materials. His research on colors of beetles and butterflies, breath figures, protein rheology, gold nanoparticles and polysaccharide rheology is published or forthcoming in science journals (Lab on a Chip, PNAS, Science, Materials Sci & Eng Reports, Soft Matter, EPL and Rheologica Acta). Current focus areas include fizzics (study of bubbles, drops, emulsions & foam), protein rheology & spectroscopy, nonlinear viscoelasticity, soap films & bubbles, 3D printing, buifluids and colors, rheology & processability of complex fluids. Vivek is a published poet. He reads & writes in Hindi and English. His poetry and essays in English are published in Poetry, Atlanta Review, The Cortland Review, Kartika Review, Bateau, Muse India, Reading Hour, etc. He contributes columns and verses to Divya Himachal (Hindi newspaper in India). Vivek's first collection, "Saga of a Crumpled Piece of Paper" (63 poems, English, Writers Workshop, Calcutta) was published in 2009. Vivek spend his childhood in Himachal Pradesh and undergraduate years in IIT Delhi. He pursued a doctoral degree at Georgia Tech, Atlanta (2003-2008) and he was a postdoctoral research associate in Mechanical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge (MA) (2008-2012). He currently resides in Chicago.

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1 Comment

  1. says: Manoj Bhardwaj

    Dear Writer,
    Life is always what we want it to be; not what we are told by others .
    We are born in an environment;this is our Basis.
    What we can do to change our environment, socioeconomic status,culture is LIFE.
    So let us Identify What should be The Future ?
    Then let us have Faith In God’s Grace and GO AHEAD.
    Manoj Bhardwaj

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