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While I Look at the King’s Palace: A Look Into the Covid-19 Crisis in India

This is a pantoum which is a form of poetry made completely out of the repetition of lines. 

While I look at the King’s Palace

Walking through the dark streets of Mumbai, 

I see bright blue tarp and makeshift walls around me. 

People lay on the side of the road;

dead. 

 

I see bright blue tarp and makeshift walls around me. 

There’s a hill far ahead of where I stand and there lies a Palace. 

Dead,

while I look at the King’s palace. 

 

There’s a hill far ahead of where I stand and there lies a Palace. 

An old lady in a torn sari comes next to me asking for rupees,

while I look at the King’s palace. 

Indians are being killed. 

 

An old lady in a torn sari comes next to me asking for rupees;

Her children are sick with the virus that came from the Palace. 

Indians are being killed,

while the King sits in his room made of gold. 

 

Her children are sick with the virus that came from the Palace.

People lay on the side of the road;

while the King sits in his room made of gold. 

I keep walking through the dark streets of Mumbai. 

 

My inspiration for this pantoum is the current events happening in India right now. India is experiencing the worst Covid-19 outbreak in the world after the government prematurely expressed “beating” Covid-19. India is experiencing more than 350,000 new daily infections. And thousands of Indians are dying every day. The government has also been accused of misreporting Covid-19 statistics in India. India needs international help because the central government has repeatedly failed to help Indians. 

My parents were born and raised in North India; they moved to the U.S. where I was born. I find it difficult being here in America where people are refusing to get the vaccine and continue to deny the existence of the virus, while Indians don’t have those options. Only 10% of Indians are vaccinated due to the slow rollout from the government. It is hard to know that my family in India is scared for their lives while I am here complaining about online school. I am insanely grateful to live here in the U.S. where this pandemic has been combated (slowly but surely). But there’s a lot of work to do, this pandemic exposed the problems in our healthcare system that we have known but denied for ages. This pandemic has exposed the disparity between rich countries like the U.S. and poorer countries like India and how this disparity costs thousands, even millions of lives. We will never forget how this pandemic turned into a “third world” virus. We will never forget or give up on the Global South either. 

 

Here are organizations that you can donate to, to help the Covid-19 crisis in India: 

Saniya

(she/her) Heyy! I'm a freshman, and I love talking about the issues that are constantly affecting our lives.

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