The Antidote: A Love Song for a dystopian world

Santosh Bakaya

(Love in the time of plague)

Part 1

There was fire everywhere! 

Folks were choking. 



Dragging their feet.
Seeing red, beating their heads.  

The ambitious ones were still running the race. 
Their heads humming like hills of red ants, 
panting, heaving, grunting, growling, howling. 
But still prowling.   


The wheeler-dealers, pranksters, mobsters,
lumpen elements, songsters, mischief-mongers,
rumor-mongers and hate mongers
were running. 


Running that despicable race. Helter - Skelter.

Not disgraced by the fire that they had spread, 

swaying with an insidious arrogance, running the race. 




Part 2

Two rats had furtively sneaked out, 

to sit under a tree whispering sweet- nothings
 into each other’s' ears, as raucous shrieks rent the air.
“Black Death! Black Death!”


But the two human rats sat.

Snout to snout as humanity raced on.



One touched his lymph node 

Groaning, eyes fixed on the road. 

"I have a severe headache," whispered he.

"My thirst I want to slake," whispered she.
They soothed each other's fears, wiped their tears.
 Frightened arms tightening around each other,
bursting with love.  

They had no idea whether it was



But the rumor was strong 

that things had gone all dismally wrong. 


"It is the plague of hatred spreading. 
 But there is no cause to dread.
We shall overcome."
Whispered the love-besotted human rodents 
clinging to each other, singing songs of hope
 smothering each other with love, unadulterated.  


Fire, fire, everywhere.

Harsh sounds kept grating. 


Snout to snout. 

Under a tree, they sat. 

Death would come knocking any day.

A skeletal stray hobbled towards them.


'Beware", thundered the gray clouds.
Would they be gobbled by the loud, raucous clouds?  

Louder they grew, endangering the sky. Sigh. 

Was it time to say goodbye?


But they sat, snout to snout. Not plagued by any doubt,  

assured that when the plague was over, 

love would still remain, singing its melodious refrain.

A little distance away,
a red passion flower bloomed, piercing the gloom.

A Siberian husky, a Labrador, and Iguana walked together 

braving the inclement weather. 

Strange, but true, a woman strutted on the ramp
with a kind-looking lizard, holding a bright lamp.

Was some wizard playing tricks? Things appeared surreal.



Part 3

A blizzard was in the offing.
Ah, it was a blizzard of love.

Love-mongers had reclaimed the beleaguered streets.

There was a flash mob dance, prancing, 

hurling love glances at each other,
smothering each other with hugs,
treating each other with loving warmth. 

A radiance oozed, tugging at hearts.


The plague of hatred had found an antidote.

The dark, dreary night, removed sleep kinks
from its eyes and scurried away. 

The sun peeped from behind a canopy of clouds,
 sprinkling them with gold dust.
Love rained.
Love reigned.
Somewhere someone hummed,
‘It’s love, love love Love in the time of plague” *
Love had really reigned. Nothing appeared vague.  
Nothing appeared vague. 
The fire of love was spreading

Fast paced


Folks were choking. 

Choking on love
Choking on love

Fast paced

Lyrics:  Dan Berne, song from album, Quarantine Me


  1. Avery poignant, powerful piece, captivating with its racy pace, hypnotic rhythm, richness of suggestive imagery and symbolism, and above all, its impassioned plea for love to rain and reign in a hate-beleaguered world! Very impressive indeed!

  2. Thanks a bunch Seema Jain for your edifying comment.


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