The Price They Paid


the price they paid

This is the story of a village –
and its happy, unassuming townsfolk.
Bathed in nature’s choicest bestowing,
They diligently worked up their yoke.

They lived as one large family,
and battled difficulties in consort.
They loved love and hated hate,
and fight was an unused resort.

They lived simply, but with utmost joy,
No envy, no suspicions in their breasts.
Evil was vestigial in their lexicon,
And they joyously reaped their ripe harvests.

When rain poured, they danced with gusto,
When the sun shone, they basked without a worry.
For them, life was a comfortable breeze,
and not a hot oven that baked in a hurry.

Their spotless minds neither knew nor cared,
about the chaotic lives of their urban counterparts.
All they were concerned with was their paradise,
And, they cherished its splendor in their spacious hearts.

But then…its a cruel, cruel world,
And gaiety is almost a punishable crime.
And so swooped in the vultures from cities,
To inject a twist in our rhyme.

The bulls had roared, and moolah had soared,
and the business guns had gone kaboom!
Not satiated with cementing the cities,
They flocked to this village to seal its doom.

Verbal poisons were poured in those innocent ears,
And money was exchanged between filthy hands.
Where once the cuckoos sang with panache,
the vile sounds of machines echoed in those lands.

Dreams were crushed and families were torn apart,
as the noxious fumes of over-ambition seeped in.
And as they were inhaled, good sense was lost,
and greed registered an unfortunate win.

Hope changed into despair, as it always does,
And peace was shattered by dirty dog-fights.
And even as the ailing village bled out woes,
The infiltrators sucked gold with all their mights.

The mountains were scarred, the rivers turned black,
As acres of forests were mercilessly axed down.
Once they were the villager’s sacred totems,
But, now they were just causes of a corporate’s frown.

And, when all money was minted from the place,
The vultures abandoned the fleshless carcasses.
The offended lands now refused to yield,
Either cash crops or lush green grasses.

So it was…men were bartered for money,
and nature ignored with blasphemous ruthlessness.
And, the peace of a prosperous, unassuming village,
was thrown into gaping chasms of wilderness.


NISHANK MEHTA  |  07.02.2008