Constitution

Neither read, nor seen.
Only heard about it.

Land official knows the lot and plan.
Police officer knows to abuse.
Pharmacist knows the ‘inexpensive medicine.’
Teacher knows the local’s address.
Priest knows God.
No one knows the Constitution here.

In the town nearby – artisans, mechanics,
laundrymen, barbers, tailors –
so many working people
engaged in their tasks
with the rising sun.
What have they to do
with the Constitution? No, I don’t
have the courage to ask them.
Their world is limited to the bars,
serving cheap alcohol and nuts.

Beggars – young and old – at the signals
and roads to temples and churches,
whose eyes were washed with sacred water
by the mafia,
young girls pushed into rackets for the rich,
laborers crushed in the mines,
people tied to chains in asylums for the insane.
I wish
I could read out the Constitution to them.
I hear,
those who have read or overheard the Constitution
have managed success
for their seven generations to come.

Born (1952) and raised in tribal reserve of Jhabua, India, Dharm is a Toronto based Author. He writes in Hindi and has five published books- three collections of satirical essays and two collections of Poetry. He is a columnist for two prestigious journals Chankya Varta and Setu. His works have appeared in prestigious Hindi journals across the world. He can be reached at dharmtoronto@gmail.com Read other articles by Dharmpal Mahendra.