Corona Lockdown & Migrant Exodus: ‘We’ve Shunned Our Own People’

Ipshita Mitra pens a poem about the pathos of the migrant labourers’ exodus, even as we practice social distancing.

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Image used for representational purposes.
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Borders have been sealed,
An unknown virus has entered our kingdom –
It refuses to leave.

We’ve been locked inside our homes;
They say, if we dare step out,
the virus will get the better of us –
So, we are locked in.

But what about those locked out,
Those walking endless miles
To reach their homes and stay with their loved ones –
Why have they been locked out?

When the world seems to close in on us
We do know who they are.
They made our houses liveable homes –
They cooked for us every eve,
And they took out the trash every morn.

They sold us fruit and veg in the noon,
They washed our dirty linen and
Did the dishes at night –
Yes, they, our own people, have been locked out.

We are inside,
They are outside,
Borders are sealed – but –
What about the walls between them
and us?

Who drew these lines –
Who decided they should stay out
And that we should stay in?

Will our kingdom be saved?
Who will die more – will it be them or us?
For now, the virus roams free, untethered by these boundaries.

(Ipshita Mitra is Editor, TERI Press. This is a personal blog, and the views expressed are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for them.)

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