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The Rohingya Girl

by Saikat Das

Saikat Das’ poem presents the flickers of hope that is still there in the Rohingya community, typified in a little girl amidst the death, desolation and destruction of the entire community by forces antithetical to basic human values.

The houses are all debris now
A sharp spiral of smoke rises
To the sky

As if to cry to the gods
The wrath of Buddha

But the sky remains calm
As ever
With its heavenly unconcern

Burnt out, ghastly
Even the trees look cursed

Piles of rubble scattered
Among human skulls

Dogs sniff about to find
One last bite of rotting flesh

Death speaks through the eyes
Who still crawl the earth

Only a little girl
Oblivious of it all
Builds a little house
With fallen bricks

For her half-burnt doll.

Saikat Das (39), comes from Chinsurah, a Dutch settlement on the banks of river Hugli. A teacher in a sub-urban High School, he dreams of writing a novel but has always ended up writing poems that wink at him rather mischievously, taunting his bouts of passion that never quite make it to a novel. But he hasn’t given up.
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