Thursday, July 16, 2009
With the first chirp of sparrow,
Pardon flies off his marrow,
To beg forgiveness for his sins,
He undertakes to feed his kin.
Sips his ‘chai’ and dusts his uniform,
A netted ‘ganji’ and a trouser torn,
Feeds his pet chick, a broiler white,
Ascends his cycle, begins his flight.
On his way he throws a smile,
At everyone he knows a while,
Benign fellow is our ‘Ismail’,
He is a butcher, his job sterile.
Swaying, he reaches and parks his cycle,
“Asallam Walequm” he greets his master,
Besides the cages he takes his position,
And scrubs his hands like a surgeon.
Sharpens his knives and fills clean water,
For his friends to drink before their slaughter,
All along the day he talks to them,
In hushed voices he gives them names.
A ‘chotu’, a ‘motu’ and a ‘pari’ sometimes,
‘Kaliya’ the ‘desi’ and English ‘gori’ sometimes.
By ten in the morning customers stride,
Select a hen for its celestial ride.
He tries to be gentle, while he weighs them,
Waits for a nod, before he can slice them,
He gets the nod, and the throat is slit,
They are put in a box, and the lid is fixed.
After the last drop is bled,
The corpse of every feather is shred,
And dipped in hot water, cut into meat,
Wrapped in black polythene, clean and neat.
He then hurls a few grains into the cages,
Whispers a little sorry and dodges their gazes,
Sometimes alone, to himself he thinks,
We are all same, waiting till time brinks.