The Man in White – A Poem by Shreya K R

A little boy with a heart of gold watched his father toil
Looked on as he ploughed the land and prepared the soil

Mouths to feed were aplenty, just a sole breadwinner
A day off to him would mean, to bed without dinner

Then one fateful day that dawned, the farmer broke his back
With no one left to earn for him, the boy’s world went black

As his father lay shrunken and withered on his bed
In came a man in white, with an ugly, bulbous head

‘Give me your vote, my man, and I’ll have them look at your back,’
‘add to that a thousand rupees,’ the father’s jaw went slack.

The little boy dreamed of the things, with that money he could buy.
A football, a race car, a teddy bear, which on the press of a button, would cry.

‘You have my vote,’ promised the farmer, for else the family would starve.
Yet, a terrible hole of guilt, in his conscience had been carved.

The man in white got his vote but the farmer passed away
More men in white, shedding crocodile tears, crowded where he lay.

The little boy’s pure heart had always been one of gold
Yet as he looked at the men in white, it turned a bitter cold.

Who were these men who toiled not, half as much as his father had?
His blood boiled, his head pounded, the unfairness drove him mad.

Yet who was he, a little boy, to question god’s will?
There wasn’t any time to grieve; he had white clothes to fill.

Where once had been an innocent soul, there lurked an icy heart.
Where once had been warm, friendly eyes, were ones shooting darts.

He made the very same promises the men in white had made
The naive villagers’ memories didn’t take long to fade.

The parents’ eyes lit up as he promised the children education.
The light on their faces shone through at the thought of a stronger nation.

Rations, water, electricity –how easily the words brought smiles
They forgot the trouble that awaited them in heaps and piles.

Had he known of his son’s deeds, the farmer would’ve turned in his grave.
This wasn’t the son he’d dreamed of , not strong, not brave.

Yet the villagers opened their hearts to him without a thought.
All his stories and promises, without a doubt, they bought.

And then he broke their hearts again, for who was he to stop?
Among the men in white, he was the very cream of the crop.


About the Poet: Shreya KR is a self proclaimed introvert,though many disagree. She is the kind to ponder over the true purpose of her life in the middle of the night for no particular reason. She sometimes stays up just to admire the serenity of breaking dawn and the changing colours of the sky. Any form of injustice, especially the social kind easily gets to her. And oh, did we mention? She loves talking to trees!

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