An empty tin clangs as little hands knock it down
to the cow-dung smeared floor
A search to loosen the clutch of hunger’s fingers
from deprived yet distended little bellies.
No sweet figures of speech can lessen
the agony of not having eaten a morsel .
Eyes which have seen a drought of hope
watch silently at the little one’s futile efforts
to hang on to life with a little bit of moldy bread
procured from a street bin….

Health and an aura of plenty, ooze from rosy cheeks
as they lie sprawled on plump cushions
watching brain-numbing violence on the TV.
having eaten the chicken legs
and thrown the vegetable fried rice into the waste bin …

Elsewhere, farmers gather rotten rice crops to bury them
because some one forgot to care about arranging
harvesting machines to reap the pregnant fields of food
in a country teeming with hunger pangs…

In the starry hotel, the record books were re-written
Thousands of life-saving bread slices stood tall in beautiful fashion
Men in suits and girls in much less posed for pictures in its midst…
Days later, the display remained till molds arrived
then it was donated to pig farms as a luxurious buffet
yet denied to a starving society’s young ones…

The hands that till the earth, the hands that waste the fruit
The hands that grab and run, the hands that beg for life…
Can they unite ever?
©Reena Prasad


“Akshaya Patra” means an ‘inexhaustible’   ‘vessel’. It was a wonderful vessel given to Yudhishthira by the Lord Surya (Sun God), which held a never-failing supply of food to the Pandavas every day. Yudhishthira  was the eldest of the  five Pandava brothers in the Indian Epic ,Mahabharata.


7 thoughts on “Akshayapatra

  1. Life is so many things, for so many people, the two extremes and several in-between, it’s a nice thought and an idea of unity is very positive and worth thinking, though very hard!


  2. how can indians do it, i really wonder, every time we go out in the street we come across atleast one person who will be blessed if he/she gets a square meal.

    its a shame, crying shame that people can be so nonchalant to others.


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