Mother India, circa 1997

There she is

the much celebrated and glorified

Mother India:

almost fifty,

but only 4'10",

eighty-five pounds, illiterate,

and pregnant.

She's thin of limb,

mildly anaemic,

giddy and short of breath;

she gets only half of what she needs to eat.

Besides, she has an intestinal infection

and is sometimes malarial--

poor housing, bad water, no sanitation.

She has low self-esteem

and is the perpetual giver.

In a few weeks,

another baby will come tearing out of her,

but she trudges and toils

to the very end.

Then, though herself famished,

she puts another

low-birth-weight infant

to her breast.

With all this she survives;

how she manages it

is a mystery.

So Vande Mataram,

hail Bharatmata,

long live Mother India, etc.


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