Groundlings

We are still here!
Your bulldozers flattened the shanties
Threw away our meagre belongings in the drive
Against the dispossessed, sparing the rich.
We are back!
There is no roof
No walls here.
Like seeds, we grow everywhere.
Cops will come and shoo us away
But again, night, we will return and reclaim
The dusty ground—because we are the groundlings!
Our homes do not add to pollution, as do their gadgets.
Just a pale bulb and a common tap, no wastage!
Hard work and sound sleep—envy of others!
Why do you keep on driving us outwards?
We can sleep under the stars, under a welcoming tree.
Our life is a public spectacle watched by the motorists, gleefully.
After 68 years, we remain perpetual wanderers, homeless, in our own country!
But we no longer care, because we are not going to get justice.
We—the children of the earth and sky
A lean and muscular tribe
We will survive this long demolition drive and other violent nights
Of the sick metro!

Sunil Sharma, a senior academic and author-freelance journalist from the suburban Mumbai, India. He has published 20 books so far, some solo and joint. He edits Setu: http://www.setumag.com/p/setu-home.html Read other articles by Sunil, or visit Sunil's website.