Chhattisgarh Girl


You were twelve years old

You keep talking to yourself

As you go on walking

You smile and greet

The trees and flowers of the forest

None can hear your words

The leaves of the trees sing the lullabies quietly

Will the tree leaves listen to your silence?


You were twelve years old

You worked all day in those Chilli fields

Were you able to eat to your fill with the wages?

Did the scorching sun add misery to your thirst?

Did hunger burn your stomach with the chili powder?

None can see your tears

The clouds spread their wings to provide a shade

Will the clouds see the sparkle in your eyes?


You were twelve years old

You look at the sky whole night with fear

You sit and stare anxiously

You remember your parents and your home

You weep silently

None can see your teary eyes

The stars shine bright in the night

Will the stars see your radiant smile?


You were twelve years old

You were to reach home, few hours and few more miles to cover

Fatigue, hunger, fear and poverty – all were stalking you throughout

You died

Before reaching home and before reaching the mothers’ lap

None bothered to ask you what you were going through

Probably you don’t need to share anything now

It’s all over now..

(With thanks to Nazim Hikmet’s ‘Hiroshima Child’)