O my mirror self what to do?
O my dark shadow what to do?
Days in this city
With me out in search of work
Nights in this city seeking
Jobs that were published in ads
O my mirror self what to do?
O my sad heart what to do?
No, this is not my own city
No, this is not even my town
Yet I keep haunting the streets
Yet I keep counting heartbeats
O my woe, tell me what to do?
O my despair what should I do?
Neon lights all around my being
As the sun  goes down slowly dying
Strange sounds encircle all my being
As the day grows dark and frightening
O my sinking hope what to do?
O my struggling, what to do?
Spread overhead is a network of stars
Like a pilgrim's pageant, like a lover's dream
But who will fathom the apathy that screams
Inside my tired body like a banshee unseen?
O my reflection what to do?
O my taxed nerves what to do?
Suddenly the gaze sees a falling star
Like fireworks on display near and afar
And a sneaking whisperer hisses and asks
Whose ill-fated days will this sign mar?
O my grief tell me what to do?
O my unfed stomach now what to do?
The night breeze jeers urging me to the bar
Saying if that is not possible then not very far
Is a place where some lonely damsels wait
For young men who can't quieten their hearts.
O my mocking 'me', what to do?
O my futility, what to do?
At another road-bend are the young and carefree
Men and women rejoicing in glee
And also some insults shouted loud and clear,
Some obscene display of modern-day cheer...
O my image what to do?
O my shadow what to do?
I do not stop to pause on my way
Nor is it in my nature to turn away
And it doesn't look any soul is there
Who, with me, my feelings will share...
O my poverty, what to do?
O my brevity, what to do?
Even now some damsels are waiting for me
Even now some bored women are longing for me
But binding on me are my vows and my pledge
And defiantly staring is my conscience at me...
O my loneliness, what to do?
O my beloved, what to do?
Then a thought tells me to break all the vows
And to give up hopes of the one that I love
And a frenzy grips me to cut life's frail chord
And break my promises like a professional fraud...
O my apathy, what to do?
O flickering candle, what to do?
A flame surges within my heart and becomes a blaze
I am close to spilling over my angst in my maze
The wounds eating me deep inside also chase
And want to devour my honourable ways...
O you poet, tell me what to do?
O you deep one, tell me what to do?
Slowly the dim light of a villa reveals a form
And I see a veiled woman walking out, forlorn
Disguised like a cleric, she is hiding her all
The youth of a widow, in a phantom-like shawl
O my image what to do?
O my shadow what to do?
In this state I also see some men
Who like Nero and Pharaoh scoff in vein
They are the ones who occupy high posts
And keep the efforts of those like me in vain...
O my anger, tell me what to do?
O my frustration, tell me what to do?
This prolonged misery of mine, this deathly way of life
Often hearkens me to get out and start civil strife
Against those in power doing nothing for us guys,
Except wasting our days and nights with their lies...
O my image what to do?
O my shadow what to do?
Looking up I feel like tearing the sky
And stuffing into a black hole the stars shining high
My search unending for some honest work to do
Is driving me to recklessness, even then I sigh
O my image what to do?
O my shadow what to do?
I may become a spokesman of the jobless and let loose hell
Just like mighty Samson, like brave William Tell
Maybe then the things will improve -- I can't tell
But once I become ruthless the high-ups will yell...
O my image what to do?
O my shadow what to do?
There is no response to the thoughts that I have
There is nobody to be seen around, like me, aware
Of societal hollowness and the hungry ones' glare
What must I do now, be here or nowhere?
O my true self, what to do?
O my soul's voice, what to do?
There's a robber on the throne of the citadels of power
Who is describing himself a leader of the poor
If nothing else, then my failure to find work
Will compel me to destroy all that he holds dear.
I am cornered and there's nothing else I can do
Except hit back at will...that's the best I can do.

I must get up and come out
Against injustice, oppression and rout
The despots killing us, day in, day out.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Inspired after listening to a Urdu poet's tale of woe which he narrated while running about here and there, hunting for a job. Posted on March 18, 2010 and modified on an  August evening of the same year.

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