Matilda Jane 


PHOTO: BY THE AUTHOR

 

Matilda Jane, you never look

At any toy or picture-book.

I show you pretty things in vain

You must be blind, Matilda Jane!

Matilda Jane is a unisex name – so many girls and boys and men and women, who close their eyes to the shining moon and the rising sun and the yellow flowers and the innocent children. 

I ask you riddles, tell you tales,

But all our conversation fails.

You never answer me again

I fear you’re dumb, Matilda Jane!

Science asks them to solve chemical equations. 

    C (s) + O2 (g) ® CO2 (g)   DH = -349kJ/m 

And Newton’s Law of Gravity does not make them think, “Whoaa! How and why is this possible? The atria and ventricles are as unimportant as the maintenance of the PIA aircraft, unless, of course, you suffer from the infamous ‘dil ka dorah’. 

The GNP and GDP of your dear homeland are inconsequential, because, after all, foreign aid is a welcome gift. 

Matilda darling, when I call,

You never seem to hear at all.

I shout with all my might and main

But you’re so deaf, Matilda Jane!

Aleppo is wailing. Kashmir is calling. The orphans are hungry. The homeless are shivering. The poor are waiting. But humanity is silent.

Matilda Jane, you needn’t mind,

For, though you’re deaf and dumb and blind,

There’s some one loves you, it is plain

And that is me, Matilda Jane!

Fallible and simple – that’s us, humans. We hurt, and are hurt. We hate, and we love. We fight, and we steal. We forgive, and we forget. We are greedy and stingy. We are humans. We care, but, we don’t show, because, “Shhh, you can’t! What if no else cares?”

 
*Inspired by Lewis Carroll’s, Matilda Jane.

 

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