Sunil Sharma is a Mumbai-based Indian writer. Sharma is a widely-published bilingual Indian critic, poet, literary interviewer, editor, translator, essayist and fiction writer. His six short stories and the novel Minotaur were recently prescribed for the undergraduate classes under the Post-colonial Studies, Clayton University, Georgia, USA. He is a recipient of the UK-based Destiny Poets’ inaugural poet of the year award—2012.
Last year/this year
It did not rain last year
In India…and other parts
The monsoon was meager
Clouds never stayed for long
Like the spurned lovers.
The winter, last year
Then the summer, this year
Were equally erratic and briefly harsh.
Rivers have run dried
Showing their skeletons and ribs
Clogged with urban debris and moss.
Summer breeze is stinging, hot.
Winter last, delayed, did not last
Even a week over the Delhi skies.
Nobody cared then
The elite have got homes abroad
And the builders are busy making houses in thousands
On farmlands, stripping the land of trees and soil and hills.
The government goes to Davos for spouting right sound bytes
While others talk of climate changes, of the last 50 years
Over a Champagne glass.
When the political class can oversee the destruction of the rain forests
And the mangroves over the years for promoting overcrowded hells as
Urban centers of growth,
Why should the powerful and rich bother
For such petty things like reforestation now?
Last and this year—
Summers were rainy and rains were summers,
Yet, nobody cares for a balding planet!