RACE AND PEACE (NKP10)

By Adya Agarwal Gupta

In our neighbourhood, I once knew a solitary maid
I never really saw her outside that house in which she stayed.
The windows of her tiny room were always barred
I often wondered if her life was hard

My neighbours were unkind and aggressive
And, dare I say, quite oppressive
I often heard the maid I called Raila crying
Occasionally, I felt that she was silently dying

She no longer had a cellphone or a passport,
And was rid of any sort of social support
I would only pray day after day
For all her worries to be washed away

It was only the guilt I felt, after that fateful day
When she took her life and went far, far away
Her employers were never punished – can you believe that!
Flew away before they were caught, like Water Rats.

I didn’t do anything, even if it were to tell my mum
So scared was I, that I became numb
I could have helped her get away
And finally see the light of day

I cried that day, tears of salt
I felt that it was entirely my fault
Her death was something I could have halted
If only I had been less daunted

Her employers believed that they were superior,
Allowed in some way to make her life drearier and drearier
Raila was disliked because of her race,
Her employers, it seems, didn’t like the colour of her face!

I have never been able to understand such extreme behaviour!
They should have been punished severely for their failure
Instead they left her dead, shamelessly
Then, snuck away blamelessly

Well folks, I have something simple to inform
As humanity, I believe, this world, we can transform
Harmony, love, unity, gratitude, what’s there not to relish?
Peace is something we all must cherish

A peaceful place is definitely not one of discrimination
It is one of affection, an endearing, welcoming, united nation
If everyone is reminded of hate, there is no peace
Instead if we think of what unites us, then peace can never cease!

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Note : This poem is a fictional piece.