Aam Aadmi, Aam Aurat (Common Man, Common Woman)

 —Badri Raina

Clearly, you are the bulk of the nation,

Forgotten much of the time, except

When  you are invoked to deride

Or justify this or that political fashion.

Indeed, when need be, even

Dalal street sings paeans to the ordinary.

O hoi polloi, throughout human history,

Denied  dignity or education, you  have

Much  of the time stood up to save

Whole civilizations from  the cruelty

Of those who assumed godhead of one  

 Kind or another, often in your name,

Spreading greed, lust, and shame,

Generation after generation.

Yet, you must admit it is also true

That  in dire times, you have not  always

Known  the  wicked chaff from the maize,

Empowering  the cunning desperado,

Only to be betrayed in the extreme

Into  hunger, oppression, war, and the dream

Of some perfection of time to ensue.

Now, in this land of togetherness,

Another test awaits your common instinct;

Either to fall to some sanctimoniousness,

Loud and red in blood, but enticing,

Or to read beyond the  disingenuous rant

And  trust your faith in those whose

Syllables may be scant but deceptions few.

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