Zoya Zaidi

Zoya Zaidi writes in Urdu as well, and her Urdu poems are widely published in Urdu, and some Hindi magazines. She is a doctor, a Rheumatologist. She is practicing as a specialist in Rheumatology, in Aligarh (UP), India. She writes poetry to express her inner-self. and to relax from her busy schedule. Her other interests are, Photography, Calligraphy, reading poetry and literature, and musical rendition of Urdu Ghazals.



The Stone Breaker

He breaks stones,
With his tiny hands,
Under the scorching sun,
By the dusty road.

The chips of the stones,
The grains of hot sand,
Mottle his young lungs
with a mosaic of disease,
And he can hardly breathe,

While his calloused hands
Tell his tale,
The stones that he has broken,
Lie embedded in the road.

Trampled by the multitude,
The road will stand
For a long, long time.
About the child
I have my fears.

Note: Stone-dust, when inhaled into the lungs, causes Silicosis, another form of Pneumoconiosis.

The Silver-Needle Factory Worker

The silver that brightens the needles
In the factory where he works,
Pokes deep into his tiny being,
Gives cramps in his belly,
Prickling sensation in his thighs,
Drives him close to blindness,
To stupor, deafness?
'Where's my salvation!' is his cry,
While his escape from this drudgery
Like getting through the needle's eye?

Note: These children get afflicted with Mercury poisoning.

Match-Factory Worker

That little boy,
He works in a match factory.
The gunpowder in
The matchstick's head,
Burns deep into his soul,
Burns the desires of his childhood,
The dreams of his boyhood.
The scorching burns to the core,
The sorrow burns him to the socket?

And, one day,
He'll be blown up
In the factory-fire.
The end of his hope,
of his desire

Note: The dangers of working with gunpowder are obvious.

The Little Beggar in the Street

That young boy by the fire,
He begs in the street,
To quench the collective fire
Of his family's belly.

Crippled -
Sometimes intentionally,
Much against his desire-
To cash in on the pity,
Of the entire world,

He feeds his family
And, much to his ire
Goes to sleep
On a half-filled stomach.

Alone in this world,
He is the child in the street.

And sometimes,
He is picked up
By a peddler of drugs,
who makes him an addict and
Blackmails him into peddling.

His blood filled with the poison,
He sinks into the quagmire
Of disease, addiction, exploitation,
And quenching the desire
Of lusty men, the sire,
To someone debonair
To whom he is catered
On beaches,
In dingy ghettos,
And in bars.

He doesn't reach maturity,
He'll die in the street
On a cold, friendless night,
By some dying fire,
This boy in the street,
Alone in the world.

Note: Goa’s Beach Boys are famous.

Copyright©: Zoya Zaidi


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