The Ones

by Ee'da

A woman cries tears for a broken world…
She cries, then she dries her eyes
And then, she rises,
again and again
Even when they tell her to cover
unholy beauty,
Cover unholy skin
Because they philosophize that her beauty is ego

They keep you trapped in the mind made ghetto
Made you believe there’s nowhere to go
So you give them your power and
Live in fear till the final hour

So I do my dance for you,
Sing my songs for you
I speak of…

Bright saris and onyx eyes cries of pleas
From barren fields to crowded streets
The rich encroach and the poor retreat
Deeper into the slums of the disgraced,
Displaced, the purposefully erased
The ones driven off ancestral lands
The ones, unaccounted for…

Farmers with nowhere to farm
So darken lives move to the bright lights of the city
Then find themselves sleeping on pavements,
Scavenging for food and the half-smoked bidhi
The ones, unaccounted for…

Red ribbons in jet-black hair
Soaked in coconut oil
Shiny in the sun,
as they toil and toil…
The jingle-jangle of her Bengali bangles
Street cables in tangles
The carrot continually dangles
Watching on TV what the Haves have,
And the Have-nots?
They crave and they never have

Its cruel, creating these ideals to reach
And then creating the conditions
To make these ideals never attainable
Its cruel, the way Bollywood teases the poor
And the poor eases their grief
With this ingrained belief,
“ This karma dictates this life that I live”
So the faithful ignorant believer believe…
That hardship is destined to The Ones….

The Ones working under the heat of day
For less than a dollar a day
The Ones raped of hope and yet still pray everyday
The Ones hustling tourists all night and all day

But corruption thrive in the ignorance of The Ones…
So they keep the powerless, powerless,
Keep the dark, without light
Keep their pennies, make them penniless
Then they invite their friends over and say,
“Hey, there’s a party over here.
There’s lots of cheap labour,
Just tell me what’s your flavor,
You tell me what you need,
I’ll be sure to deliver,”

So why would they educate the poor
Give them tools to think and see
Why rock the boat?
When its sailing so smoothly
On the old vessels of the East India Company

Its warm in the cabin up there
Even if the water below is the razor cold
Temperature of misery farenheit
But ‘its alright’ , they say
‘It’s just the way it is…’
‘It’s just a caste thing…’
‘Better luck next time…’

You see, a hungry belly and an educated mind
Will question and revolt
The invisible monarch will topple and fall
If over a billion stood strong, united and tall

So, they keep it as it is
They say.
‘Who will live, will live,
Who will die, will die...’
And the boat keep sailing the deadly seas

And my beautiful sister
Sis, where are you in all of this?
You’re a pawn in this social disease.
You can be bought and sold like herd
You’re only seen and never heard

You’re like a faint echo from an unsung battered lip
You’re the first to awake and the last to sleep
The pain in your heart as you silently weep
The cry of …The Ones…

The ones toiling the land with her on her back
Toiling the land with her two bare feet
And at night, with her last ounces of energy,
She serves her husband’s needs after all that

Or a child of fourteen,
She’s sold by her kin,
Her young flesh pimped on red streets
To vulgar vultures hungry for sweet virgin meet

I see your eyes
And I feel your thirst
And I know you ask,
‘Why do men come first?’
Who made these riverbanks burst?

I carry your tales with this pen in my purse
To write the stories of your courage, your
strength, your sweat and your tears
And you say to me, ‘To live in drudgery..
is a rural woman’s legacy...”

So you accept the unacceptable,
Grace disgrace with your amazing grace
I ask myself, ‘ Could I last a day,
If I lived your reality?’
I don’t know if I could….

So I close my eyes
and I walk the shoes
of The Ones
feel the feelings of The Ones
The Ones as you
The Ones as me
The Ones are we
We are The Ones..
We are The Ones,
Responsible for The Ones,
Standing up for The Ones,
They have less so we can have
More, and more, and more and more ….

So we are The Ones standing up
For The Ones
Because we are all The One.