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  • Gayathri Mohandiramge

Survival


Rest you may.

You have pumped too much, littered too much,

Exhausted the living

For the fragile substance of ‘money.’

Have you slept enough, fed yourself enough?

Conversed with ones that matter?


While you hustled restlessly,

Day and night in exchange of riches,

Rushing through,

Pushing through crowds,

Flaming anger and frustration,

Over rest you have been deprived.


In the morning hours,

Begins the meditation on a lifeless screen,

“Correspondence” you call it,

Nailed to the chair for hours,

Gobble up that cold meal, the tea you had missed

Over a meeting.


With sunset you return,

Frustrated once more for different reasons,

Running to a spouse equally exhausted,

A child returning from the care of a stranger.

A few words, syllables exchanged amongst yourselves,

Till you hit the sack, those stomachs left empty.


Now, now you remain immobile, yet frustrated,

Angry – not having to commute,

The morning rush you cursed,

The long wait in the traffic queue.

Suddenly life has no meaning, you want to call it life,

It has vested upon you ‘time’ to listen, learn, understand,


Your life can be halted by a single agent.

Who cripples your capacity to change the world with your inventions.

Now you remain stagnated in your room,

Yet again on a lifeless screen, scheming,

For more money

That you may not even ‘survive’ to spend,

In this hour of the pandemic.

Gayathri is a part time teacher, a lecturer, full-time corporate slave and mother, struggling to retain her identity while playing the role of an imperfect mother.

"This piece is my initial feelings during the first lockdown in the month of March, and the poem displays how fragile our lives are even though we strive embed meaning to it with worldly things"