Chiranjit Chakraverty's poems
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1.   Who assaulted Bela Dutta Gupta    
Why Live
4.   Super Power   

      Who assaulted Bela Dutta Gupta     

Who assaulted Bela Dutta Gupta
Not I, will say the culprit, if he is ever apprehended
I had a family to feed and couldn't afford to be caught
Its true that I went to steal, but she shouldn't have screamed
No, I am not responsible, what else could I have done

Who assaulted Bela Dutta Gupta
Not us, said the people of Regent Estate
We know that things were bad, but we had our own problems
The power kept going off and the children weren't doing too well at school
We thought that the Government will take care
No, we are not responsible

Who assaulted Bela Dutta Gupta
Not us, said the Police. We knew that there was a problem at Regent Estate.
But that's true every where else and we are understaffed
Besides, the Regent Estate Association did not provide us space
To set up an outpost
No, we are not responsible

Who assaulted Bela Dutta Gupta
Not I, said the Chief Minister. Yes I may have received a few petitions
But then, what am I to do. I keep receiving many letters
I have a state to run and an election to win
Am I expected to care about the people
No, I am not responsible

Who assaulted Bela Dutta Gupta
Not I, said the Governor yes I have heard of Regent Estate and its problems
But then, that is my Chief Minister's job
I have seminars to inaugurate and books to release I can't keep track
No, I am not responsible

Who, then assaulted Bela Dutta Gupta
And who is responsible
Perhaps it's a figment of imagination, besides these things happen
What gain fixing responsibility
No one is responsible
This is a democracy you know



Saddam Hussein is to be hanged
For crimes against humanity
Justice has been done
Iraq, they say, is rejoicing
But Iraqis continue to die
Back home, the Republicans have lost their majority
Will anything change
It never has, why should it now

It has been a long story
Where shall we begin
What is justice
Was Hitler just
He must have been
Why else did the Germans
Allow six million to be killed
How many civilians has Bush killed

Did Hitler have God on his side
As Bush says he does
God, poor God
He has to back the strong
Does He have a choice
He helped in the extermination of the Indians
And the slave traders for all those years
He was with the British, when they plundered India

And let us not forget the Australians
They were not satisfied with the aborigines
On to Papua New Guinea
Where they shot the natives for sport
And what about us in India
Forget the past, how about now
Sixty years after Independence
A different God, same result

The Sikhs are slaughtered
Tribals forcefully evicted
Criminals make laws
The new mantra is development
And farmers slave
Education, health care, equal opportunity
Step aside folks, the rich only, please
Justice is for sale, wanna buy some

Who equipped Saddam Hussein
Who cheered while he fought Iran
Who stood by when he gassed the Kurds
And who now are his judges
Times change
When you are with us, you are fine
When you are not, you are evil
When you gotcha go, you gotcha go

Why blame Bush and his pet
Which head of state protested
And who would dare
With God in his heaven
A vengeful God
He does not forgive
With a God like that
Who needs the devil

Super Power
Two in the morning
Fourteenth of December
In the year of our Lord
Two Thousand and Six

I lay asleep
After a social evening
Followed by rich food
And cheap drink

With a start I was awake
To an infernal din
All the street dogs
Were barking away

My dogs joined the chorus
I ignored it for fifteen minutes
Then I heard a child's voice
Crying incoherently in the night

Couldn't ignore it any more
Unlocked my gate and ventured out
In a while I spied a tiny woman
Scantly clad

She was talking to herself
Scurring around
Throwing stones
Shivering in the cold

No one was interested
The security guards stayed away
Neighbours pretended not to hear
Only the dogs cared

She did not answer me
What could I do
Felt guilty and ashamed
But returned to my warm room

This went on for hours
Finally the guards came
Tried to shoo her away
By dawn she was gone

Where did she come from
Where did she go
We are a socialist state
With a communist government

Universal Education
Health care for all
Land for the landless
To each according to his needs

By twenty twenty five
India is going to be a Super power
My foot
Who are we kidding

Why Live
At sixty I don't see any reason why
Except that I do not die
That, of course is not good enough
So I have to dwell deeper

At ten, it was all Fun and games
School had to be endured, homework completed
Other than that, romp in the forests
And play, play and play

At twenty, languishing in college
Boring studies, cutting classes, poor grades
Revolt, unhappy parents, girls on my mind
Would I make anything of my life

At thirty, newly married, ecstatic
New country, new life, dreams of success
And what exactly was success
Many noble thoughts, but actually wealth

At forty, back in India
Good job, social acceptance, some recognition
Significant personal decision, No children
Still chasing success

At fifty, top of the world
Great house in the Himalaya
Good money, recognition, mission accomplished
Had I arrived

Back to sixty, aches and pains
Back home, where the  thoughts first began
No regrets, comfortable life
But the doubt persist

Why live
Most objectives achieved
Nothing to look forward to
Did I go wrong somewhere

Don't think so
People create their own problems
Take a spouse, beget children
The rest is inevitable

The religious view is different
The objective is well defined
Know the unknowable
Merge with God

Does that make any sense
How can one know the unknowable
And why should one merge with God
but then, belief is not open to arguments

Why then do I live
Because I want to be with wife and friends
Because I want to go to the Coffee House
Because I don't die

Still dream of being useful
Serve mankind
Make my nation proud
Dreams, that's all they are

Still dream of travelling
The Andamans are attractive
Kerala would be nice
Dreams, that's all they are

Back to where we started
Why do I live
Back to the same answer
Because I don't die