Voice of an Indian Labourer

Vatsala Radhakeesoon
I
Sailing, sailing from Kolkata to Newland,
Youthful dreams blend with my motherland. 

In my heart beats the rhythm of sanskriti*,
Within my soul chants the depth of piety;
In my breath lingers the beauty of Bhojpuri*.
Week after week,
At last, the new land…Mauritius,
Here, my song is hardly melodious.
From dawn to dusk I devote myself to toil,
My sleeps are merely pillows of turmoil;
Only in prayers,  from all  pain  I can recoil.
I’m ruled by the Fools’ rules made for the fools,
Between the ambiguous lines lie true winners’ tools.
Shabby conditions lament in reports,
Amended Acts are just tricky discomforts;
My strong will binds me to this sunny port.

II
O abolition, abolition of Indian Immigration!
The Labour Law forbids some cruel restrictions.

Never again will I bear exploitation,
Never again will I submit to alienation,
Never again will my life be fake confusion.
Here stand my own plots of land;
My heart is free
from all wicked command.
Greenness smiles through sugarcane plantations,
My dream is not sheer illusion;

Thoughtfully, I’ve sown the seeds of determination.
My children will be officers, doctors, lawyers;
Mauritian children will be the future rulers, governors, ministers.
Free, free from foreign rule will this country be,
Sheltered by the rainbow of divine harmony;
Generation after generation
will forever sing their ancestors’ bravery.


*sanskriti (from Hindi): culture

*Bhojpuri: A language spoken in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, India.
                  Also spoken by Mauritians whose ancestors came from those states.


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