Dying conscience

by Michelle Fortes

What a lovely hard hitting poem.from Rashmi Trivedi …please do read…

Sometimes in the dark of the night

I visit my conscience

To see if it is still breathing

For its dying a slow death

Every day.
When I pay for a meal in a fancy place

An amount which is perhaps the monthly income

Of the guard who holds the door open

And quickly I shrug away that thought… It dies a little
When I buy vegetables from the vendor

And his son “chhotu” smilingly weighs the potatoes

Chhotu, a small child, who should be studying at school

I look the other way… It dies a little.
When I am decked up in a designer dress

A dress that cost a bomb

And I see a woman at the crossing

In tatters, trying unsuccessfully to save her dignity

And I immediately roll up my window….It dies a little
When I buy expensive gifts for my children

On return, I see half clad children

With empty stomach and hungry eyes

Selling toys at red light

I try to salve my conscience by buying some, yet … It dies a little
When my sick maid sends her daughter to work

Making her bunk school

I know I should tell her to go back

But I look at the loaded sink and dirty dishesAnd I tell myself that is just for a couple of days….It dies a little
When I hear about a rape or a murder of a child,

I feel sad, yet a little thankful that it’s not my childI can not look at myself in the mirror….It dies a little
When people fight over caste creed and religion

I feel hurt and helpless

I tell myself that my country is going to the dogs

I blame the corrupt politiciansAbsolving myself of all responsibilities….It dies a little
When my city is choked

Breathing is dangerous in the smog ridden metropolis

I take my car to work dailyNot taking the metro, not trying car pool.

One car won’t make a difference, I think…It dies a little
So when in the dark of the night

I visit my conscience. And find it still breathing I am surprised

For, with my own hands Daily, bit by bit, I kill it, I bury it.
Let’s take a lesson out of this.

Written By

Rashmi Trivedi



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