Saturday 1 August 2020

Puneet Chansauria, Poetry 2020, Featured Writer

                                  The Challenge and Defiance

Heterogeneous Skylines with their genesis in a gateway sheet,

now witness lines of exodus and workers’ beating retreat

Moving away from cities—“structural poetries” that rhyme,

Back to their villages that are “free verses”, sketched by ancestry and anchored in time

Cities seemed hesitant to bid adieu to the ones who made it cosmopolitan,

and in this crisis unrivalled, empathy emerged, instances abound when a citizen turned samaritan

Will their comeback be instinct-driven, amnesia-induced thus circular,

Or will it be long-drawn sceptical and elliptical?

But, the challenge loomed large, affording an entire demographic four walls and a roof,

quarantining the “touched ones” in accommodations water-tight and surveillance fool-proof

Then there was desperation, the overarching theme defeating schemes, patterns and order,

as disillusioned by the Metropolis, masses marched across the border

While somewhere at play was a Euclidian tragedy,

On a straight road, the marginalized treading on the margins

became victims of directionally dyslexic wheels,

Axiomatic freedom of movement began to turn relative,

and citizens advocated for those who on concrete were rubbing their heels

Crisis peaking and with cacophony of opinions, all arrangements and renderings, irrespective of the vantage points, appeared violated,

But that’s the humanity’s story chaos asserts itself while order need to be created and stated

Cities crave being architectural utopia, rival Corbusier’s best.

Rains and contingent colonies-- the slums-- put them to an impossible test

Their dripping roofs fly in the face of responsive architecture,

Master-planners did not conceive them and wither the will to restructure?

Yet the buildings those bidding farewell have made are immune to stormy winds or a minor quake.

Pandemic had lessons for all that it left in its wake,

In the end, the philanthropist perseveres and preserve, misanthrope turn more perverse when lives are at stake,

But the great equalizer pandemic has made all walls and elevations appeal for containment in its wake…

Elevation that’s a treat to behold

Forgot the man fashioning it atop the scaffold

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