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2008

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Going to the Mountains
Chris Mooney-Singh

Do not think that I will show you my sadness
in the capital city where business and politics
are insincere lovers that secretly meet.
I have had enough of prophets and promises.
It is now time to go the mountains.

To cry in public would be undignified, despite
the choking diesel fumes of the ring roads
as I am taxied past the public fountains –
bathing places of the poor, where
the red arm bands of the shouting workers
chant grievances from India Gate to Parliament.
The game of insurgency must play itself out.
It is time for me to go to the mountains.

The power failures come without warning
like heart attacks. The rationed water
eking from a tap into a bucket where
mosquitoes drink is the blood of the city
leaking away; but I will not complain
to our Member of the Lok Sabha
nor my crore-patti circle.
Let them gorge and gorge like scarabs
until there is nothing left of the heap.
I simply want to go to the mountains.

As I speak, the gentle conversations of our times
are being cut to pieces by suicide bombers
exploding between us and the telephone exchange.
It is too late now - the petrol cloud of unknowing
hovers like smoke above a cremation ground.
It is time to shed tears on the feet of the Master,
It is now time to go to the mountains.

Lok Sabha: the Lower House of Parliament
Crore-patti: a millionaire