Mohua Chinappa’s poems talk about fragility of life

 Mohua Chinappa’s poems talk about fragility of life

Team L&M

Author and poet Mohua Chinappa is back with a collection of poems, If Only It Were Spring Everyday (Srishti Publishers), which is a heartfelt exploration of love, respect, and resilience in the face of adversity. In this collection, love is celebrated, and pain is felt deeply, reminding us of the fragility of the human experience. Through her words, Mohua invites readers to find solace amidst the storms of life and to embrace the hope that springs eternal, even in the darkest of times.

Following is an excerpt from the book:




On 8 may 2020

In Aurangabad

The air was still,

It smelt

Of an eerie dance

Of the wolves.

The labourers

Could not foresee

The  doom

Walked bravely

Into the jaws of death

As they were goaded

In search of security,

The walk that was never

To return ever again.

Such was this night

In the sleepy

And the sleepless

A long line of labourers


For their death knell.

Most of us won’t understand

A hungry stomach

Or a back burnt


In the harsh noon sun.

Just like a happy person

Cannot understand a broken heart

That can never stop crying.

Many would say

Why did they stop

To sleep on the track?

The labourers

Were tired

Had trudged a long distance

Trying to escape


With the faith

Of god,

The band of the 16 labourers

Trudged the arduous path

Back home,

Withstanding the rain,

Shower the sun.

They carried

Their courage

With their little potli of rotis

A heart full of hope.

But luck

Was never their friend

Surely not on their side tonight.

They always lamented

That luck favours the rich

Strangely today

They had forgotten


That luck would not choose them again

It had already chosen

Its muse

In the prosperous

The chosen few.

It  was  already  bad

That they had no work,

No food

The gnawing fear of death

Gripping their heart

Like the tentacles

Of a deadly snake

Each and every passing day.

They were alone in a city,

Without a name,

An identity

Or an address to call their own.

They decided to get together

Walk back home.

Back to the familiarity of family.

To their wives,

Little children,

old parents.

It was the ray of hope in the dark dungeon

Of the factory shifts.

They cooked rotis

Filled little cloth bags

Cooked food

They began their journey.

Labourers are a sturdy lot.

They can withstand


More trauma than others.

They trusted the strong

Legs to take them back.

With the experience

Of life,

The faith

In their two hands

Had already given them

Food hope of a better life.

They knew all they had was their body

To rely on

And a heart full of courage

And the innate knowledge

Of the survival tricks.

The factory owners Said,

“Please carry on.

We can’t help you anymore.”


Were shutting shop

The pandemic was looming larger than life.

It was a few nights

Before the full moon.

They checked

The  calendar,

Called their families

To tell them

That they were leaving their job

In the city

To return back home.


The wives were frightened

But were glad

That they would be together


if it was in misery.

In this ruin,

Lies the story

Of Seema and Bholu.

Seema asked Bholu,

To add some achar

Between the rotis.

The dry

Sukkha rotis

Aren’t easy to swallow.

Bholu promised

To do that

And he said this would soon end.

He would be back at home.

Seema fasted

That morning.

It was the wee hours,

She woke up and prayed to the sun god

Applied her sindoor

Went round the tulsi tree

To beg forgiveness

For the fights to bring

Bholu safely back home.

Bholu joined the group and they began walking.

They walked

Till the back burnt

With the relentless sun

But they sang together


Kept the spirit intact.

They had not slept for days on end.

By the time dusk fell

They were losing track

The feet

Were giving away.

Sonu, the oldest  among  them Said,

“Let’s stay close to the track

So that we don’t lose

Our way.”

There is quarantine

No trains will pass

This way.

They decided

To rest a bit

They lay down,

Shut their eyes

Passed away.

Deep in slumber,

They didn’t hear the sound

Of the hungry wolves

The crushing

Of the train wheels


Into the night track.

Bholu saw Seema in his dreams.

They were married

Only a few months ago.

They were expecting

Their first child.


He smiled

At the thought

Sang a tune, and slept away.

It was past midnight.

Like the train

From Pakistan,

This train was from the next village

In India.

The green flag

Was hoisted

The train took on its track.

It was pitch dark

The engine driver smiled

And started his journey

To Aurangabad ahead.

As he went blowing the whistle

In the air

Filling the air.

The train crushed bones,

Brains hearts

Under its wheels

It went on its journey

To deliver the goods ahead.

There was no sound

Because the death of the labourer

In the night, anyways is

Without much sound or mourning.

As the morning broke,

The villagers saw mutilated bodies,



Open boxes

With food and clothes

Strewn all around.

The army of the 16

Were gone

And there was one

Who survived Injured and maimed.

The cries filled the air

The dogs ate the rotis

In hope of filling their hunger

Human beings stood in shame

For the abject loss of humanity

Hung their heads with pain.

I too cried

Felt the bile rise in my throat,

I put the next morsel in my mouth.

I can see the rotis on the track

I silence my mind

I tell myself that

I will soon forget

Aurangabad train incident

Like I have forgotten

So many such incidents before.

Life is cheap

The poor is cheaper.

We shall continue.

But back in the village,

Seema is waiting

To see Bholu


She has no clue

That the only  remains

Of her loving Bholu are

Mangled bones


That she won’t ever know

If it’s her

Bholu or someone else.

The track lies strewn

With rotis,

Photos of family Screeching silence

That haunts me

Every evening

As I lie in my bed.

Train to Pakistan,

Train in Godhra,

Train in Aurangabad

All will remain

In the annals

Of history as an example

Of the abysmal loss

Of humanity

The lack of amenities

For the poor in our country.


News, Lifestyle & Entertainment stories - all at one place

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!
%d bloggers like this: