LATEST NEWS

Submission for April Issue, 2023 (Vol. 4, No. 1) is going on. Last date for submission is 31 March, 2023.

TEA PICKERS AND SALT AND CHILLY MAKERS

 


TEA PICKERS AND SALT AND CHILLY MAKERS

-       Sagar Mal Gupta (India)

 

The tea plants were standing like warriors

with their razor sharp leaves

after being drenched in the rain water

They used their stilettos to wound

those ladies who approached them

to pluck leaves fearlessly

causing irreparable injury to their fingers

but their soul remains untouched.

Accepting the warm, friendly invitation

from the saltiest sea water fields

Run of Kutch women kept standing in the water

for hours touching it lovingly and

converting it into salt for human consumption

caring little for the conversion of their

foot skin into  the leathery lifeless lump

impervious even to bonfire

but their soul did not become lifeless.

The motherly red color of  red chilly fields

attracted Nasik women

to pick, dry and grind the chilly

into powdered form to augment

the taste of Indian curry

without caring for the loss of their eye sight

in the scorching bright sun light

and the burning skin of the hands

like the thousands of moths

that gather round the lamp light

without caring whether

they would live or die

but their soul will live.