I live in a bubble

I live in a bubble –

High-rise buildings, chauffeur driven cars

Paved side-walks, gardens with flowers

Fine dining restaurants, free home- delivery

Twenty four hour water supply and uniformed security

The intercom rings, a fourth time in the day

 ‘Its Amazon Ma’am. Shall we send them up?’ they say

 

I pick the papers

Lying on the marbled floor

And the farm-fresh milk left at my door

I watch the morning showers, sipping my ginger-lemon tea

Sweetened with a dash of Himalayan honey

The rain breeze blows; touching me on the back

Of my neck and I think, ‘This city is perfect’

 

I flip the pages-

Building collapses in Dongri – 13 dead!

Two lady doctors travelling by train hurt

By a overhead wire that fell on their head!

Stone pelting at the station, there’s a spurt

Another child falls down open drain

The reason being the much awaited rain!

 

Who’s answerable-

for lives lost and government apathy

Rapes, lynching, just another story

Rising anger and disdain

‘Not this, not this and not this again!’

 And I shut it out, close the papers

For I live in a bubble… my anger simmers

 

I received this prompt – ‘Not this, not this and not this again.’ It came at a time, when  repeated news of buildings, bridges and walls collapsing fill the papers and are talked off with great sadness but no conclusions or solutions. This is the other side of Mumbai city – the city that I’ve come to love in the one year that I have stayed here. And its’ not pretty. Its’ depressingly sad that with so much wealth in this city, lives are lost due to these avoidable reasons that are purely the responsibility of the city authorities and the government.

I’m all for what John F. Kennedy said, ‘ Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country,’

But I also believe in Benjamin Franklin’s words, ‘ As a citizen, it is your responsibility to question authority.’

This is not the first or second time that lives are lost because of old, dilapidated buildings and bridges collapsing. It happens all the time here. It makes headlines, is the subject of talk-shows and everybody expresses remorse and then everybody moves on. Until it happens again and then we are reminded of the previous incident and the one before it as a matter of general knowledge or a topic of discussion.

We talk about it once more and then forget while new lives are lost – of infants, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters to the callous attitude of those in power because this is just a very negligible percentage of the billion that make up the country. 

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12 comments

  1. You’ve expressed so well the differences between the ways we all live Smitha – those of us lucky enough to be shielded from many of the everyday dangers and how we cope with knowing such differences exist. It can often seem that there are so many problems to solve that we can’t make a difference.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Andrea. So glad you liked it. Yes, it isn’t indifference just the feeling of being insignificant in the bigger scheme of things that makes us ignore or avoid thinking of it. Your words make me feel less guilty.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Alas! Nobody is answerable Smitha and nobody cares! All are chasing their personal ambitions and masses are the victims. Reminds me of Carl Sandburg’s poem: “I am the People, the Mob.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes Smitha I too agree completely with your true words so well encased as a beautiful poem. We sure are living in a bubble and there are others who are facing reality with day to day living in apathy but as you say we read in the papers and as citizens are not being able to fight with the Govt who are not ready to do anything. This is the sorry plight of our Mumbai. We need to join hands for a better today.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes it sure is no one from the government is bothering all want to stay in lavish houses and keep grabbing our people’s hard earned money as taxes for themselves. This is everywhere the whole world suffers at the hands of a few selfish people

        Liked by 1 person

        1. So true. But in other countries while a few super rich do enjoy, the public does not suffer this much. If we believe in competing with the developed countries then it should be in all areas not just defence or research.

          Like

          1. Of course I totally agree with you, Smitha and India takes the cake. Terrible and people left on the streets with no home or any help. They r making high rise buildings who can afford so where will the poor go but stay in these old houses and be at the mercy of the government

            Liked by 1 person

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