Image credit — Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint

what does she feel, standing guard,
in a mcdonalds,
waiting for the promised future,
that she had bartered her land for,
she has done the wise thing,
no “4 bangle” car awaits her,
no gold adorns her neck and wrists,
avoiding the mistakes her neighbors made,
she waits stoically.

what does she feel, as her hands touch,
the glass still keeping her out of,
the fancy turf built,
on her children’s playground.

does she miss the open sky,
that the skyscrapers now stifle,
the air in them, cooled and recirculated,
but never really free

will she need, like me,
few pills for vitamin D,
cut away from the sun,
her life like mine, now largely spent indoors.

teenagers hang around,
waiting for the next order on a food app,
they grew food once,
now they just compete to deliver.

looking at all the empty glitter around her,
does she forgive the genie,
who promised her three wishes,
then left before she even stated the first one.

does she regret her decision to sell,
does she still hold on with hope,
as she watches other people chase the neon god,
for her own dreams, she waits for another.

I write to remember. I write to remain honest. I write to leave a bread crumb trail for my daughter. I write to relax. Trying to impress my better half, I write

I write to remember. I write to remain honest. I write to leave a bread crumb trail for my daughter. I write to relax. Trying to impress my better half, I write