• Get in Line — A Villanelle on Demonetisaton

    Uttaran Das Gupta

    November 22, 2016


    Image courtesy Wikipedia Commons



    (For Maaz Bin Bilal)
    Get in line, people. Double quick; in line!
    What else are you going to do? Make it straight.
    An hour or two; may be three. All is fine.
    You’ve no problem waiting for food, films, wine.
    So why this hullaballoo? India is great;
    soldiers are dying. Don’t cry; all is fine.
    Kashmir’s blind; Bastar burning. Yet you whine
    for a fistful of rupees? Use plastic.
    Get in line, people. Don’t panic; in line!
    A little chaos now to redesign
    our economy. All planned; nothing drastic.
    Two days; a week; 50 — all will be fine.
    ATMs might choke, a few die, GDP decline,
    but we’ll clap if you quote Dylan at us;
    and patiently get in line. Get in line!
    Yet, if you insist on being asinine,
    question our wisdom, riot, burn a bus
    because you’re hungry, we’ll dial the hotline
    for boots, batons, pellet guns. Be calm. Get in line.  


    Uttaran Das Gupta was born in Calcutta, India, and read English at Jadavpur University. His poems and articles have appeared or are forthcoming in Reading Hour, Magnapoets, Raedleaf, Fulcrum, Open Road Review, The Sunflower Collective, The Dhauli Review, Strip Tease, Café Dissensus and Indian Literature, and have been translated into Bengali and Telugu. He is a journalist with Business Standard, New Delhi, where he frequently reviews books and films. He is also a member of The Sunflower Collective. At present, he is working on his novel and was at the Sangam House Residency in January. His poetry has been shortlisted for the Raedleaf Poetry Competition 2016 and his short stories have been shortlisted for Juggernaut Short Story Prize 2016 and Open Road Review Short Story Contest 2016.

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