Fakir Palya : A Squatter Settlement


In a world where streets

are extensions of homes

and windows are merely 

punched into walls;

Where wealth is a meal

and warmth to share

and health is escaping 

dengue and death, itself;

Where they burn old planks

to boil cheap broken-rice grains

and their entire lifetime

fits in a carton box;

Where marriages are fixed not

by love or tradition

but by the needs of the 

owners of livelihoods;

Where kids play in 

the sand that their

parents build houses with,

in unpalatable haste;

And school is an abstract

idea of keeping kids busy;

Where streets are front yards

and backyards and entertainment.

And tiny boxes are living rooms;

Where dreams are seen, love is made

and so is food and violence between

short spells of sweaty sleep;

Where people bathe upon the drains

because pipes are too expensive

and kids are washed away in drains

when the rains are excessive;

Where money is made on daily wages

and the threat of displacement and

poverty wakes them from their

light slumber: a predicament;

Such is the land where I see

children filling coins in plastic jars

Dreaming of owning cycles

pedaling them to Schools

Where women laugh despite

the scars they hide.

And men buy kids scrap

toys and things to play with

despite their bones

sticking out through their hide.

Each hut here is the same

Single rooms and leaky-roofs.

But everyone has a story.

A beginning and an end.

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