So, I meet strangers in the street
they look at me and I look at them
a 'how are you?' lurking in our eyes
we want to say the same things
the commonality of disaster
envelops our fragile beings
it rains, it stops, it rains again
we move behind closed doors
our hearts navigating secret stories
we live like strangers finding meaning
in the destiny of uncertainty
the cold clock looks on, unimpressed
its arms stretched forever into eternity
the longer I stand, the smaller I get
fading into oblivious indignity
and like some old song that comes to mind
I ask myself 'how are you?'
the silence is deafening
How am I? How should I be?
I am not sure if I have
ever been able to answer that question
© Jaspreet Mann, How are you? (2020)
Never before have I felt this kind of temporariness and uncertainty transcend my existence. This poem, that I wrote long ago came to my mind during this time.
*click on the pic to hear the poem.
Today practice what you preach. Don't talk about the boredom of work from home. Don't talk about your difficulties. Think about people who are nudged into margins and documented in statistics. Pay your maid. Pay all those people who worked for you. Pay them now because a few rupees will save a life, a family. When you voice all those challenges about working from home, remember those people who don't have a voice!
Yes, that's how you look
you look at clouds and not see the rain
you look at life and not see the pain.
For a long time they fished in the pockets of their well worn jeans
For a slice of the moon lost during childhood
For the drop of rain that went waste
For the twittering of birds that was silenced long ago
For a long time they stood on the stairs
staring into space, spaced out like forgotten constellations
talking to a sky that had never heard their names
For a long time, they were there looking at nowhere
For a long time, they were there in the heart of everywhere.
© Jaspreet Mann