April 1, 2019 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

AJ photo



Punam Sharma







The fire of election has been lit

the cauldron of democracy is placed atop

it has to feed more than a billion people

of a not so rich nation

so the politicians resort to ingenuity

after all we are the nation

that gave zero to the world

adding zeros to paltry numbers lends gravity to figures

where quite a few are illiterate


we also are world famous for jugaad

(our contribution to oxford dictionary)

we make do with things

so all sorts of ingredients

are thrown into the cauldron

from slogans to promises,

from waivers to sops

and what is an Indian dish

without some spices


so jibes and barbs,

slander and name-calling

and insults pertaining to ancestry

are generously sprinkled


it may make your sensibilities tear up

but you see, it is a gloves off, free for all

so what if at stake are

jobless youth, suicidal farmers,

women whose voice nobody wants to hear,

the marginalized poor,

the other communities,

children who get routinely raped or butchered

this is all media-made leaders thunder

and cover the cauldron, trying hard

to keep the thorny issues under a gentle simmer

hoping they would dissolve on their own


the armchair analysts smack their chops

at this veritable khichdi

(yet to make to the dictionary)

not realising that when the dish is served

they will be the first casualty

for the ignorant will lap up

whatever is served


the servile will be grateful

to see their masters

it is those in the know

who will have difficulty

in swallowing the truth

and democracy as always

will have the last laugh.




Jugaad – noun – INDIAN – a flexible approach to problem-solving that uses limited resources in an innovative way.

“countries around the world are beginning to adopt jugaad in order to maximize resources”


Khichdi – or khichri, is a dish from the Indian subcontinent made from rice and lentils (dal), but other variations include bajra and mung dal kichri. In Indian culture, it is considered one of the first solid foods that babies eat. … It was the inspiration for the Anglo-Indian dish kedegree.






Punam Sharma

Punam is a stay at home mom and wife who resides in New Delhi, India. She writes poems in both English and Hindi. She also freelances as a contributor to English and Hindi textbooks for primary schools. She blogs as paeansunplugged. (http://www.paeansunpluggedblog.wordpress.com)

Editor review


  1. Ravi April 16, at 17:06

    Captures the moment...enjoy!!!

  2. Anuradha Sinha April 02, at 02:08

    Very well explains the election scene in India. Very beautiful writing dear Punam, as always.

  3. calmkate April 01, at 22:37

    Am so impressed, this poem tells it as it is and it needs to be shared!

  4. BHAVANA LOKARE April 01, at 16:10

    This is such a lovely poem, v succinctly describes the election scenario! Proud of you dear Punam!!??

  5. Christine April 01, at 16:10

    Well done Punam! I loved this when I first read it ??


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