Life stands paralyzed
Pyres burn in makeshift
Crematoriums in
Vacant lands

Bodies lie stacked
The disease is killer
But apathy killed too,
As did lack of amenities

Country sends SOS
Help arrives from
Foreign shores
As Indians gasp
For lack of oxygen

She sits in the park,
Now a burning ghat
Amidst logs of wood
And watch the dying
Embers – a vacant look –
The last rites of the nation!

Author’s note:  India is experiencing Covid horrors. People are dying in hordes. Many have died not of corona, but of lack of oxygen. Sordid pictures are emerging from all corners of the country. The following is the link to a news story portraying the horror. It is just one among several.


Pranab Ghosh is an award-winning Indian journalist and writer, who has worked for major news outlets of the country, including HT Media Ltd., Eenadu Digital, TNIE, Business India group etc.. His books of poems have been published by English and Canadian publishers. Read other articles by Pranab.