Contemporary Literary Review India | eISSN 2394-6075 | Vol 6, No 1: CLRI Feb 2019

Dr Dalip Khetarpal

Futile Queries and Epical Shrieks of Few Anguished Souls


I was so inspired by the theme of a poem of Sara Rozit (a 20- year- old filmmaker of Egypt) that many analogous ideas sprang up from my mind, making this poem possible.

This fractured age

Has generated a society, improvised

Wherein manipulations are legitimate rights,

Wherein luck or success depends not on caliber

But on whims, on the choice of boss

Whose birthright privilege has often been

To shape your fortune,

Wherein every feeling and thinking is fake,

Wherein everyone has to forfeit his honesty and integrity

Simply for acceptance,

Wherein stupidity is glorified over intelligence,

Again, simply for acceptance,

Where dishonesty is glorified over integrity,

Simply, still again, for acceptance.

In this cyber age

Beauty is worshipped over morals,

Selfishness over selflessness

Weakness over strength

Cruelty over kindness

Revenge over forgiveness

Demerits over merits

Dishonor over honor.

The false so, win

And the true, lose.

Surely, this is a cybernetics, capitalist,

industrialized-robotized century,

The purest century of impure face-book,

Instagram and cybernetics,

Of cyber-space, cybersquatting and cyber-sex of cyborgs,

Wherein everything, devoid of spirit, is fake and mechanized,

Sans life and warmth

Depriving also the life and warmth

Of ecology, of nature.

A robotic culture clones

Can’t spend a day, an hour or even a minute,

Sans apps on their smart-phone,

But can comfortably and gleefully spend their whole life

Witnessing the poor, the sick, the wretched

And the deprived, wilting.

Media also teaches us not

To follow the unpopular

That is worthy, virtuous and meaningful,

But the evil demonic popular

Through trivial and worthless ads.

Latest modern concept opines: ‘We need to be wealthy,’

So, our system also teaches

How wealth power and fame are essential,

How they determine one’s success,

How character is defined and refined by

One’s material position,

How even one’s religiosity is measured by

One’s socio-financial status.

But does acquiring and having all such illusive best

Makes one really the best?

Can the best of Satanic qualities imbibed

Makes one the best?

Success is ironically attained by who one really knows,

Not by what he really knows.

The cursed majority suffers, is exploited,

The unfairly blessed- selected few, enjoy cakes and ale

Though awash with lust, greed, malice, spite

And loaded with deep loathing,

While the languishing commoners slave over

Their menial jobs

And groan in anguish.

Day in and day out, we notice all these physically

But we remain unaffected, feel it not a whit

‘cause the sensitivity of our sensibilities

Has become blunt, hardened,

Rather dead.

Compassion and pity

Affects not our insensate defunct psyche.

Conditioned to seeing all this

We’re not capable of seeing anything good

Seeing better is a remote dream.

Passionately luxuriating and wallowing in lies,

We have become terribly accomplished liars.

Science makes us robotic culture clones,

Schools only teach us how to mug up the syllabus,

To inhale and exhale a fixed specific matter

But seldom how to think freely and analyze.

They only teach us how to think

Of conforming to societal norms, to authority;

But seldom teach us how to react freely,

How to question the rod-wielding or gut-wrenching authority,

How to fight the evils of our own culture and conventions.

They rather impel us to yield to authority

And blindly follow the set conventions---

----defiance so kills as conformity survives us.

Religions want us never to question

But to blindly believe in it

For they know that faith is unquestionable,

Forgetting that faith is something personal too.

Religion, race, ethnicity and all human beliefs

Are but ineffable human constructs,

So why blindly follow them.

No human construct, howsoever good and appealing,

Should ever overpower our sense and sensibilities,

Snatch our freedom of thought,

And prevent us from thinking freely.

Most religious men are corrupt to trick us

Still, we worship them, shamefully, knowingly.

Why should it be?

Why should the corrupt be fed, eulogized and worshipped

And empty and theatrical rhetoric and rants

Of fake saints and leaders earn

Applause and kudos

When we witness the languishing poor

Ruthlessly torn by hunger,

Poverty and disease?

Why should all means of comfort and luxury,

Special foods, drinks, electronic gadgets, pop culture

Be more important than environmental pollution,

Animal extinction, starving sick children, poverty and hunger?

Why should we impart such a bright sheen

To the mean and unclean?

Should we allow their undeserved celebrity status

To intrude on our sensitive conscience and consciousness?

We kill animals because they’re weaker than us,

Because we can control them.

We kill them solely to gratify our palate----

-----ruthlessly prioritizing taste over innocent lives.

Why then do we advocate the cause of animals,

When we kill and eat them?

When we can’t love humans, how can we love animals!

When living by killing even humans is our forte,

How can animals be spared!

We often show our loyalty and love to animals

Only when we have no alternative, no being

To vent and shower our love on,

Or, when they serve our needs

Or offer some gain.

Why should our love emanate from selfishness

When it is something natural and compellingly needs a vent!

Why then should we demand sincerity and trust

From these speechless innocent species

When we know that our return is nothing, but betrayal?

Why should we be also called mankind

When we’re most unkind?

As an intelligent, enlightened species of this planet

We’re surely mean, cruel and selfish.

Sustainable mushrooming endless growth of all ills

On this finite planet ironically, has led to the collapse

Of this civilization, for virtues and eternal values

Have become unsustainable.

This most advanced enlightening ultra modern century

Wherein even the most fatal problem has a solution

Why should there be famine, poverty, hunger, disease, war

And mental illnesses varied?

Why then do we advocate peace, progress and prosperity

When we generate wars, deaths and chaos?

Why should we follow such a system

That promotes all these,

That makes the unclean rich,

And the clean poor?

When one per cent of the world’s population

Owns 40% of all the wealth this pitiable planet has,

Can we say this world is fair,

Just, balanced and healthy?

It’s all so gnawing…

These are the symptoms of an ailing system.

This fractured century

Needs to be repaired, revived,

It’s the ripest time to act.

Should we so now not awaken and dredge up the truth,

The sense of fair play and justice that lies dormant

In our sub-conscious and unconscious mind?

Let this world remain a stage,

Let all be actors,

Let the producer-director of the play

Be mute and unconcerned,

The show should instantly stop

To save the world

From its cataclysmic end.

If my vision needs revision,

If my perception is wrong,

I must clean my dirty glasses

And see all this again with cleaner glasses

And give a cleaner view

Which may again not be true,

‘cause it’s unwise to generalize personal perception,

Though it is right.
 Alibris: Books, Music, & Movies


Dr Dalip Khetarpal is an Author, poet, critic, editor, and reviewer. He has worked as a Lecturer in English at Manchanda Delhi Public College, Delhi. He worked in various capacities, as Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and H .O. D (English) in various academic institutes in Haryana. He was a Dy. Registrar and Joint Director at the Directorate of Technical Education, Haryana, Chandigarh.
Dr Dalip has also started a new genre in the field of poetry, which he would like to call "psycho-psychic flints".

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