The high-rises there.
Once, till few years ago,
Those were the fields
Worked by the farmers.
Paddy fields that added to the
Greenery created by
The magic of the full monsoons.
Small patches where vegetables were grown
And small ponds with the bent palm trees
Catching the gentle moon-beams.
We walked down to that paradise in the suburban Mumbai
Smelling the earth, after every first rains.
There were trees around and bird-songs
All that is gone!
Only buildings rising up
As bald giants
Few clumps of trees
Covered in the soot and exhaust,
Only concrete roads with crazy traffic
All divine songs gone.
Floods of 2005
That drowned Mumbai.
Tsunamis, most places.
And the monsoon of 2018
Residents in metros
Pay for the crimes
Of the greedy builder lobby
That kills: The mangroves; ponds; fields
And the maternal trees that nurture cultures
But these developers, sadly,
Always forget to plant.
(Credit: Contemporary Literary Society)