Poetry from Kaushika Acharya

Story of minority , hidden from the “reality”

Stay in, stay apart, stay away,
As the news flashed,
Chills went though the heart.
Mind rushed, as
Panic mode activates.

Day and night, updates flow out.
No pay, no money no nothing, everything dries out!
No food, the shops ran out
No home, the lessee kicked us out

Mother calls day in and day out
Where are you, come home now,
Making ama cry her heart out!
We need to go back, figure this out, as
Our battle has ended in a rout!!

We grabbed food, some clothes for the way.
She slipped on her slippers,
Buckled herself,
Strapped our son close to her.
And we take off.

No vehicles in sight, flight?
Nevermind, it has been far from our reach!
Thanking god for these strong feet each,
We walked, stopped, breastfed,
Restarted, stopped, fed on noodles, biscuits
My hopes killed with every stop
Nights fall in, if lucky shelter a tree, or blacktop it will be
Rain falls in we shelter again below a tree
Choose the jungle’s path, primarily, As
Tigers, bears, wolves, concerned us least
Cold, hunger and despair were the real beast!

We passed through a village today
Stomach rumbled, our agony on display!
Like a rain to a farmer, echoes a voice,
” where do you come from?” the angle said
“kathmandu, hajur”
Asked us wait, calls his wife,
She comes out with plate full of rice.
And says “He has yet to bring out milk for your son”
Grateful as we were, our words went shy.
Offered our thankful namaste with tearful eye

Recommence the journey,
7 days in, pass the half way, nearly
All we had was 1 pack of noodle, and
A 100rs bill and that was that.

Today we were accompanied
With people with similar pain and stories.
We all were afraid to be stopped
Via the uniform
Now and then we hide or flee, it was the norm.
To avoid it, we walked through the jungle
Pass through creaking bridge, as river flows under.

Bloody feet, was paid no heed
One after another, passes day after night.
We don’t even have bones for us to eat.
We licked the salt, chewed the sugar.
And finally we entered another village.
To beg for food shamelessly.

One more jungle, one more town and this last turn,
Reaching my home, place I was born.
The words spread that we had made
Closer I am, restless I get
Jittery like a child anticipates his gift.
There stood my ama, like my dreams had potrayed.
Old lady, looked worried, thin and in pain
With eyes full of fears, replaced now with happy tears
Her magical touch, removed my anguish and horror.
At last, all of us together!!

We had no money, no nothing
But we have a house, bright with light that we can lit
Stomach warmed with food, and body has quilt
Heart overwhelmed with love that we have built.
Finally inside the home, back with our shield!

We washed away our body’s dirt, blood and sweat.
Realising we earn our daily wage with all this,
For most others have it a lot better!
Please be grateful
As you look and hear about people like us
People surviving below the line, We’re:
Thrown out of homes,
Neglected by nation,
Gone through hardship
And we learnt our lesson,
That a mere virus had no way of killing us, as
Hunger and poverty will take us first.

-Kaushika Acharya (K. A)
Story of Nepal, and people below the poverty line.