Poem: Tiresias delivers prophecy for the cynics!

Photo: PTI

By Sunil Sharma

They say the enemy came from Wuhan, after a deadly rampage

there, crossing the closed borders, riding unsuspecting humans as

carriers. And, a pandemic got unleashed, first local, then

global – like the other items of import and export of the

globalised markets, but this one, dreaded. Then, reactions

set in – hyper-nationalism, xenophobia resurfaced (always lurking beneath the calm surface, every culture) and borders got closed again and again…but it evaded  the capture! Phew! Too much!

The enemy is here, in second wave, in the shimmering air! It has

devastated the entire structures:

Collapsed public health infra, already very poor. Overworked doctors. Oxygen – out of stocks.

Happy families, now grim, heart-broken!

Colleagues, friends, neighbours – receding memories.

1.3 billion-plus citizens of a developing economy – mere vote banks, every five years. Their sad stories of sheer misery, loss and bereavement – only a TV spectacle and social-media forwards!

and the capital and power play the chess game, populations-pawns, as their hostages

The State failed; the states failed – everywhere.

South Africa





Mexico – the long list expands quickly – as the virus strikes stealthily peoples of

every creed, colour.


We are the fodder, the 99 percenters, for the one percenters of the world – chants the massive crowds in the old public squares, the world over – rage rising up, as volcano eruption, and the distant thunder – on the red horizons – and the spectral Louis XVI and Marie, hovering on the margins.

Hark, the deaf ears!

the chorus of the post-modern epic – tragedy cautions the benumbed audiences –


The blind seer sees the truth – ignore at your peril, the insulated elites!

Pandemics come with a strange syntax, idiom and grammar of their own, these plagues – subalterns – seek justice and equity, haunt the ongoing

histories and reverse doctored narratives; dismantle easily

the invincible kings and emperors, from secure pedestals, in a single sweep!

Sunil Sharma
, a senior academic and author-freelance journalist from the suburban Mumbai, India. He has published 22 books so far, some solo and joint. He edits Setu.


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