Mera Desh badal raha hai…
Aage bad raha hai….
…………….haseena

The song is the reigning anthem…
Of our nation right now…
Promising winds of change…

The song blaring from my FM radio….
As I sit pensively in my car…

Waiting Outside the …
Examination Centre…
While my daughter is hunched…
In concentration attempting ….
The “paper of her life”….

My eyes are drawn towards ,
An old man hunched…
In concentration mending a shoe…
Trying to earn “the bread of his life”.

In times gone by,
A Cobbler would always,
Be a part of our lives,
Coz we mostly owned,
A single pair ,
Worn till they wore out,
Mending them till they,
Could not be mended ,
Any longer.

Alas times have changed,
It is not the same any longer ,
The cobbler sits in his corner,
Tools neatly spread out,
Ready for his first customer ,
Beside the busy road,
With hope in his eyes,
Wishing for a passerby,
To turn his way,
Hoping to mend his shoes,
And earn some rupees,
For dinner tonight.

The cobbler has a family,
Three daughters n two sons,
Daughters married off,
Sons are cobblers too,
Following the ancestral
Profession,
(Yes u guessed it right,
I did have a talk with him)

The vicious cycle continues…
Entrapped in age old snares…
Unless broken…
We carry the burden …
Of poverty .

There will always be ,
A cobbler’s child ,
Awaiting his turn ,
By the roadside ,
And a doctor’s child ,
Awaiting her destiny,
In an exam hall…

The song from the FM awakens…
Me from my stupor of pensiveness…

Mera Desh badal raha hai…
Mera Desh aage bad raha hai…

Meaningless…
Unless we take everyone forward…

Jai Bharat…

© Haseena Dudekula (reserved)
Pic courtesy:Personal Collection

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