A Tale of Sunderbans – Surabhi Verma

Reflectionist – Surabhi Verma (ITBM 2020-2022)

We are living in a barren land,
Which was once filled with gold.
Now let me tell you a story,
Which was left untold.

There lived a woodcutter in the forest of Sunderbans,
And he was a hundred years old.
He lived in a cottage made of wood,
And just a ragged blanket was all he owned.
He walked through the same trail every day,
With his only companion, a dog named Bolt.

The year now is 1975,

Still, the memory of the Bengal famine of 1943 is what he holds.
Once living happily in the district of Midnapore,
This mangrove forest is now his only abode.
Hungry Bengal lost its sons and daughters,
Now, thinking about it makes him cold.
All of us are running behind the riches now,
But don’t you think, many lives could have been saved

if there was a rice onefold?

Society still has to learn a great deal from history,
Also, the secret that our survivors and our dead behold.
And there is one thing we should remember,

The riches of the West were built on the graves of the East, after all.