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The numbers are climbing. People are dying. Old and young, alike. Everyone knows someone who is gasping for their next breath. Because the virus knows no difference of age, wealth, status. It just knows to invade a body. And when you get fever and chills, a cough, maybe pneumonia, unable to breathe… you can still make it… Maybe you will recover at home. Maybe you will need medical care. Perhaps, oxygen support. But such great are the numbers that hospitals are overrun. Crematoriums too.

And in the grip of a devastating second Covid wave, there are those, who are profiteering, making money off the dying. Extracting a pound of flesh. Scooping up the coins scattered around the dead. The irony is, what guarantee is there that they will survive to enjoy their ill-begotten money? Who guarantees that a number won’t become a name?


The nights are / the worst
When / the silence of the curfew
Is pierced / by the banshee wail
Of white coffins / their
Blue lights / announcing
The presence of the / dying
Encased inside / as they
Race / on deserted roads
But / no hospitals are
Taking them in / no beds
Mostly / but no oxygen
Either / and definitely no
Hope / as
People die waiting /
To suck in the next breath / in
Serpentine queues.

Jyotsna Atre

This post is a part of the Blogchatter A2Z challenge

Just the news…

Time was when reading the newspaper with my morning cup of tea was the best way to start the day. Even when the television screens shouted out the news, or rather tried to pass off dramatized, opinionated commentaries in the garb of news; the crisp daily remained my go-to when it came to keeping up with the world.

But now, I seem to be losing my taste for news altogether. Does nothing good ever happen anywhere? Do we, as a species, simply have nothing good left in us? Or is that the business of news can thrive only on the negative?

Just news…

Vaccines doses
In short supply,
Hospitals low on oxygen:
Six people die.

Insurance cover ends
For healthcare workers,
But government won’t loosen
The strings on its purse.

No sign of election rallies
Winding down,
All eyes on who will
Wear the next crown.

Maharashtra fights over
Seizure of drugs,
Medicines sold in black,
Do we never run short of thugs?

New variants mutating
In the second wave,
If you still won’t wear masks,
You are foolish, not brave.

As if Kumbh wasn’t
Decision-making at its worst,
Pilgrims can’t wait now to get
to Tirumala On May 1st.

In other news,
Will India get its 1st woman CJI?
Citibank to quit India.
In Ladakh, army still on standby.

Only 3% of global land
Ecologically intact,
As Us and China sign
A business pact.

Can I not share anything
Except my depressing views?
But my dear, I am reading
Just the morning news…

Jyotsna Atre
April 19, 2021

This post is a part of the Blogchatter A2Z challenge

I. Me. Myself.

Has the pandemic changed our taste for life? After a year of being alone in our skins, are we ready to give up our isolated lives and include people in our lives?

I. Me. Myself.

I lay
Here alone
Staring into the starkness
Of isolation
Plugged into a machine
To inflate
My flaccid failing lungs
I don’t
Crave my space anymore

Jyotsna Atre
April 10, 2021

This post is a part of the Blogchatter A2Z challenge