Poem 1
Poem 2

The winds that did not change

Why didn't you sink in the Indian Ocean
For we would have died without any fear
Why did the wind blow in their favour
Leonidas, why did you bring us here.

I cried my heart out as I left the shores
Of my home "Bhaarat maata"(1), my India.
Why did the wind blow in their favour
Leonidas, why did you bring us here.

We watched for the last time
A faint land on the horizon
Shall we see it again
Time and again we question.

Tears filled those eyes which
Never knew how to cry.
We hid this quickly from the rest
Head held up and gazed the sky.

Our only hope now lay with god
For we were strong in belief
Its going to be fine
Was our only sigh of relief.

Little did we know of the trickery
And the treachery of the white
But when the journey seemed never-ending
Our hearts knew something was not right.

What would you have done my grandson
If you were me ?
Nothing ever happens against
The will of God, you see.

Had I been educated like you
May have never climbed on the deck.
I never meant to give you pain
So from 4 to 7, we broke our back.

On the farm, off the farm
Nothing other than pain
We built "ashrams"(2) and later schools
Kept Culture Alive, All for your gain.

For we never wanted you
To see the days we have seen
Oh! How would I tell you
Through what we have been.

"Yeh watan bhi tumhara hai" (3)
I lastly told my lad.
He cried out loud
As I finally lay dead

Your father upheld our dream
To see you not a naïve.
You have migrated from this land
Is a pain you once more gave.

Now listen, my grandson
Feejee is where you were born
A nation we struggled to green
From heaven today, we see it torn.

Free your nation of the corruption
Bring back peace, unity, hope and glory
Should you fail my children
Believe me, it will be again a similar story……

Footnote :
(1) Bhaarat Maata - Mother India.
(2) Aashram- Shelter used as accommodation and also as a learning center.
(3)Yeh watan bhi tumhara hai - This nation is also yours.


Dedicated to all the Girmitiyas who suffered enormous pain during the indenture-system, including my grandfather - Shiu Ram .This poem is also dedicated to Shiu Ram's children (My father and his 4 brothers and 2 sisters). Shiu Ram was brought from India as an Indentured labourer. He was, I am told, from Muzaffarpur .


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