A PASSAGE TO INDIA
India is crowded and filthy,
Streets often lacking sidewalks and light,
Hardly is there a decent park or library,
Said nineteen- year old Monica.
Indians eat with hands,
Licking, gulping and burping aloud,
A sight I can’t stand,
Said twenty- year old Mahindera.
Half in jest, half justly they also said,
Indian English is queer, so is the accent.
Indians freely maul the Queen’s tongue,
That was Malhotra clan’s final comment.
Divorced from a white female, Malhotra,
A chemist in a Boston paint factory,
A loving father of Monica and Mahindera,
Concluded: Never again will we visit India.
But the American economy now sagged,
And the varnish/paint factory tanked,
Sinking Malhotra’s pension and gratuity.
Overnight he plunged from plenty to poverty!
For long inhaling varnish and paint,
Malhotra’s one lung was shot;
To survive, he needed a nurse;
An expense surely beyond his purse.
In panic Malhotra reached bucolic Kangra,
Where simple fare and tender loving care,
Slowly restored him to health and cheer.
He was now happy to live in India.
‘I eat my food with hands,
Rice, chutney, dhal and chappati,
And speak mostly Punjabi;
India is my home, my beloved land,’
So he wrote to Monica and Mahindera.
The temple bells nearby pealing,
And farmers in the field sowing,
Thus ended Malhotra’s scary saga!
HERE COME THE PUNJABI WOMEN
In Toronto Edmonton and Vancouver,
At dawn by bus they go out for work:
Cook, sweep, launder and push a senior’s chair,
Or simply sit at a desk as a night-clerk.
Until now they couldn’t enter Canada,
For Punjabis know no French or English.
Now in droves they enter Canada,
Still they know no French or English!
The Kraal door is flung open suddenly:
Is it amnesty, an act of mercy?
Will Immigration Canada explain quickly?
And relieve the new arrivals’ curiosity!
In time they will trade the apartment
For a house in a Punjabi community,
Where their kids go to a public school,
And Mamas live in native congeniality.
When holidaying in India, these folk
Splurge money on gold, food and silk.
On return they pontificate profusely:
Oh, that country is crowded and dirty!