The Building


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There is no worker,
but in the building,
the worker’s face is drenched in sweat.
The worker’s face is drenched in sweat,
So, the walls of the building
are damp.
The worker’s body has wounds
festering in various places,
so, the walls of the building
are now full of cracks.
Termites gnaw at the foundations.
The worker is now old,
his bald pate clearly shows,
inside the rooms, the paint is peeling off the walls.
The worker has become quite old,
the building is aging too.
One day, the owner brings the engineer along
to take stock of the building.
The engineer looks around, asking—
‘Where, where, where is the worker?
Call the worker!
The building is shaking badly.’
The engineer screams.
The engineer is unaware
or perhaps he knows
that the building shakes
because three hundred miles away
on an unsteady charpoy,
in the village, the worker,
is coughing.

 

-Uday Prakash-

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