The Arduous Paddy Field Workers

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Bravo to these workers, the providers of our plates of delicious

Pulao, steamed, fried or curd rice or biryani scrumptious!

 So aromatic, even the plain khichdi, or risottos, so life sustaining,

This staple diet of so many cultures, our hunger satiating,

We all relish, without questioning much about this appetising

Wholesome food, full of essential nutrients to complement

Palatable preparations with spicy ingredients.

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A look at the paddy field in the photo, drives us to the workers

So much preoccupied, surely undergoing back breaking days,

Engaged in arduous labour under the scorching sun

Or the chilly winter or torrential rain.

The rice growers are immersed in this job laboriously,

Dutifully, patiently and perseveringly,

Ploughing the marshy soil, following each step prudently,

Probably helped by oxen or buffalo. They remove the stumps by hoeing,

In an orderly heap from one end to another laying,

Acting as a mud wall, with bare hands the mud plastering

To keep the water from draining.

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The seedlings are gathered in small bundles, painstakingly,

Tied probably with aloe fibre strings and later placed randomly

In the paddy field. Other workers take over the transplanting

Of the seedlings one by one, some space keeping. 

Soon, the verdant plants start growing lushly. 

Later, the farmer sprays biocides meticulously.

When the bunches of paddy seeds appear plenteously,

They are then harvested and sent for threshing finely

In several stages to become clean ultimately and packed duly,

Sent for sale worldwide, reaching our plate ultimately.

Blessed are we to have such great souls working so arduously,

To keep us satisfied daily!

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©Pushmaotee Subrun

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About Pushmaotee Subrun

Pushmaotee Fowdur Subrun was born in 1949 in Mauritius. She pursued higher studies in Delhi University where she graduated in English. For the past forty-four years she has worked in secondary schools, seven years of which she spent in Masvingo, Zimbabwe, teaching English in an army school. She completed her PGCE at the Mauritius Institute of Education in 1993. After her retirement, she was a member of the Council of the University of Mauritius for three years. She is currently a reader and editor in the Ministry of Arts and Culture. She has written one novel, one play and Short Stories and Fables. Her poems have featured in Setu Magazine, ‘Poetry and Creativity’ and in Atunis Poetry.

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