By Pankhuri Sinha
PROMPT — The way I see it ...
Change! We are all looking for it!
Not the clanking coins or the left over bank notes
That, that busy shopkeeper
Hurriedly hands you back
Who doesn't have enough help
And has rushed you through the entire shopping
Lifting his piercing voice
Over sharp human shrieks and screeches of tires
Outside, touching your hands with a dominant
Announcement, "and here is your change!"
We are all looking for it!
The change that will stop murder
And molestation on the streets
The manufacturing of weapons
And the endless war in the former spheres of influence
Now politely called war-torn regions or troubled zones
In post -colonial discourse!
Or the one that will end sophisticated discrimination
In sugary voices in elite offices!
We are all looking for that change!
In the middle of that popular cliche doing rounds
"Change is the only constant thing!"
People change, commitments change, priorities too!
Love fades, passion evaporates, friendships break!
In this constantly changing world, we are all looking for unchangeable things
Eternal love, heavenly bliss!
Seasons change, bringing beauty!
When climate does, they call a conference!
Of course, conferences can go wrong!
Promote or destroy careers? Make or break lives?
What? You too are awaiting that change
Like a fresh breath of air, enabling you someday
To walk on that even, plain grassland, that open Savannah
Without ditches, sink and pot holes, marshes and mountains?
Then my friend, speak up! Raise your hands, and shout
For that inch, that empty plot of green grass around you
And for every right of yours taken away
Usurped by a power coalition national and foreign
Even if that allotted moment of complaint registering has quickly passed, speak up!
Pankhuri Sinha is a bilingual poet, story writer and translator from India. She has published two poetry collections in English, two story collections in Hindi, and six poetry collections in Hindi. Pankhuri has been published in many journals and anthologies, home and abroad. She has won prestigious, national-international awards, including the Girija Kumar Mathur Award, Chitra Kumar Shailesh Matiyani Award, Seemapuri Times Rajeev Gandhi Excellence Award, First prize for poetry by Rajasthan Patrika, awards in the Chekhov festival in Yalta and in the Premio Besio Poetry competition in Italy, Sahitto award in Bangladesh, and Premio Galateo in Italy for poetry in mother tongue. Pankhuri's writing has been translated in over twenty seven languages. She has studied in Delhi University, Symbiosis Pune, SUNY Buffalo, and the University of Calgary, Canada and has done writing residencies in Hungary and Bulgaria. Pankhuri has worked in various positions as a journalist, lecturer and a content editor. She writes from New Delhi, India.