She stands in the serpentine queue
with all the eligible voters from her family
under the blazing relentless sun
she is used to the queues,
queues for rations, queues for gas cylinders,
queues for dole,
queues for daily wages after back breaking work
she waits patiently for her turn
(like many around her)
to repay the cost of a saree,
some cash and a bottle of arrack
(for her good-for-nothing spouse)
not knowing that her vote
can make a difference
to the outcome of voting
and make a mockery of democracy.

She sits listlessly
under the humming air conditioner
sipping chilled daiquiri
watching with disinterest the serpentine queues
outside polling booths
not inclined to brave the heat and dust
to cast what she thinks is her meagre vote
(there are many like her)
she has never stood in a queue all her life
and elections won’t change that
her husband has an important meeting
her kids are holidaying in the Swiss Alps
the elections too inconsequential for them
thus democracy is mocked again.

She stands alone and proud in the queue
determined this time not to be bullied
to cast her vote according to others
passionate about voting on issues not the parties
inflation, education, safety, health her priorities
no party wants to talk about these mundane matters
they inflame passions on religion, caste and jingoism
surefire ticket to complete autocracy
she maybe a knocker, called a rabble-rouser and be all alone
registering her voice paramount for her
she won’t allow democracy to be mocked again and again.

Linking to OLN at dVerse being hosted by Björn.


96 thoughts on “Queue

  1. I really like the way you speak to this issue and illustrate the essence of it so cleverly and vividly too. Excellent..

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I probably fall in the 2nd category albeit, without the fancy stuff, I regret to say. The one politician worse than the other has created apathy and not motivated me to action.
    And surprisingly, in the book Humankind that I am reading it spoke about true democracy that gave REAL power to the people – a revolution that most may have not heard about, where part of the local city budget was allotted to the people to decide on how it would be spent!
    (Humankind is a must-read for all of us – we have been given one side of the story backed with data and science for too long and this one questions a lot of these ‘givens’)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. They are mostly equally bad. But if we don’t vote, the worst gets elected and gets to make the laws! Imagine that! Moreover a strong opposition is very important to keep the ruling party on its toes.

      Will check out the book for sure. The premise sounds promising.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow, wow! Isn’t this the most powerful poem!
    Not allowing democracy to be mocked again and again- that’s the type of girl I want to be! Can’t wait to vote! (I can, now 🤩)
    Your poem is so powerful and just so brilliantly written!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Again, this is a brilliant poem! Do repost during election time 😉
        I’ve never heard of teenagers being disinterested in voting! 😲 My peers and juniors are so enthusiastic about it. We have elections at schools too, (most schools) for different posts. But if they are indifferent, it spells doom 😕

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks once again, Sahana. I will share another poem some time soon which I had written before 2019 general elections. 😉
        I am so pleasantly surprised to know that your friends and juniors are enthusiastic about it! That’s wonderful. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Just so true. Despite the situation in our country, many people are still hopeful that their votes will make a difference.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am one of them, Vandana! We can’t lose hope. It is very easy to buy the votes of the marginalised. Our votes matter and if we all vote, we can make a difference. At least that’s what I think. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. the fragility of democracy in the hands of those who participate. I am very cynical of ours. It’s the money machine I distrust. So I understand all these perspectives. I think you elucidate them very well.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is for sure. And in our country when those who can discern don’t vote, those who come to power do so on the back of the votes they buy of the illiterate and the poor. And believe me, they far out number the literates! It is these money machines that need to be defeated. I believe the fat cats over there exert pressure in other ways.

      Thanks so much, Worms.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I agree with Kate Punam, this is so powerful that it has to be read by more women out there…i love your second verse the most and how you told the story of a woman who chose to vote while the husband opted to attend a meeting and the children went on vacation..

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Great poem, so well written, so evocative of each voter/non-voter. Your message is clear, passionate but so well written, that the reader is caught up in the three different stories and doesn’t feel preached to. Well done!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. This is so moving. How important it is for women to do this, however difficult. Women died for us to get the vote and continue to do so. Beautifully written, and I love the image too ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Perfect! We just had a federal election in Canada. This poem basically tells of at-times apathetic/disinterested/self-absorbed youth (I was one of those, back in the day), and then how it can hopefully transform into thoughtful and activist maturity. We must vote with care for the issues, not blindly for the parties, as you say, if we want to preserve democracy. I feel the same. Great write, dear friend 🙏💗

    Liked by 2 people

  10. This piece has been beautifully put! Yes, every vote matters. We as women should be more concerned about holding views about the democracy of this nation. Those queues that we put up under the blazing sun matters.
    Do go through our articles as well and let me know your views about them.


    Liked by 1 person

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