Laughter is the best medicine.
The laughter of my upper caste class mates
When I fumble on my English?
What about that of my rich colleagues?
As I cross them
With my polyester sari?
That stands out
Against their desi and khadi wear?
What about the snigger my brahmin bedmate gives me?
Because he thinks he is smarter than me?
What about the patronizing smile
My brahmin boss gives me
When I share my ideas?
What about the smiles (and stares)
My neighbours give me
Coz my car isn’t as fancy as theirs?
What about the indulgent smile
The NGO rep gives me
For deigning to give him an idea.
Is it therapeutic?
Why does this laughter make me feel small?
Why do the smiles make me want to hide?
Why does the suppressed indulgence anger me?
Is it because
I am stupid?
That I cannot see how therapeutic it is
You call me selfish
Maybe you are right.
I don’t care about your feelings
About your rights
To be happy
All I care about
My dying child
My empty kitchen
My hungry stomach
My aching eyes
My weary heart
I care about it
So I must be wrong
You are right
You are always right.