Friday, July 8, 2011


As a neighbour
Always willing
To listen
I am often
Roused from bed
At odd hours
To settle disputes;
This one was over menu.
The eldest of the family
Together with her two siblings
And doting mother
Insisted that the bread-winner
Ensure mutton for lunch
Every Sunday,
When the father
Was finding it difficult
To even afford eggs;
At eleven p.m.
There I was standing
In that hall
With well-fed teenagers
Glowering at their father
Almost cringing
Behind my back
As they accused him
Of not fulfilling
His duties by them;
With meat prices
Ruling so high
I could imagine
What it would cost
To meet their demand
Four times every month;
In their better days
They used to give
Non-vegetarian lunches
To friends and relatives
Plying them with generous helpings;
Children raised on such carnivorous diet
Obviously cannot settle for herbivorous meals;
I pointed out
That prosperous days
Would always return
They would soon finish college
Take up jobs themselves
When they could gobble
As many goats as they wanted
Without worrying about the budget;
I told them how hurt
Their sire would feel
To be put in the dock like this
When they should stand by him;
I also suggested that they convene
Their budget meetings early
And think of the poor lambs
Every time they had a craving.

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