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The Mandi - by Rajiv Lather

Farmersí mandi is full again,
as everyone brings in rice.
The sellers fear the rain,
hoping for a good price.

As everyone brings in rice,
on tractors that slowly crawl,
hoping for a good price,
they visit the agent's stall.

On tractors that slowly crawl,
hitched with loaded trailers,
they visit the agent's stall,
fearful of previous failures.

Hitched with loaded trailers,
tractors are belching smoke.
Fearful of previous failures,
farmers worry, nearly broke.

Tractors are belching smoke,
with brownish haze all around.
Farmers sit, nearly broke
some on sacks some on ground.

With brownish haze all around,
trailers unload on allotted spots.
Some in sacks some on ground,
unshelled rice in different lots.

Trailers unload on allotted spots,
having cleaned of dust and fluff,
unshelled rice in different lots,
ready for those who buy the stuff.

Having cleaned of dust and fluff,
farmers guard their golden grains.
Ready for those who buy the stuff,
with their gilded rings and chains.

Farmers guard their golden grains,
waiting, waiting with weary eyes.
With their gilded rings and chains,
buyers devalue the rice with lies.

Waiting, waiting with weary eyes,
farmers watch the prices drop.
Buyers devalue the rice with lies,
manipulating bids for this crop.

Farmers watch the prices drop,
nobody sees their tempers rise.
Manipulating bids for this crop,
buyers ignore their pleading cries.

Nobody sees their tempers rise
as farmers assemble to protest.
Buyers ignore their pleading cries,
sitting in motels to take some rest.

As farmers assemble to protest,
out in sun, they sit on the road.
Sitting in motels to take some rest,
buyers and officials of mandi board.

Out in sun, they sit on the road,
peacefully the traffic is blocked.
Buyers and officials of mandi board
panic as the government is rocked.

Peacefully the traffic is blocked
as farmers demand a fair price.
Panic as the government is rocked,
exposing with buyers its shady ties.

As farmers demand a fair price
they threaten some drastic act.
Exposing with buyers its shady ties,
government fails to act with tact. 

They threaten some drastic act,
on fast unto death, farmers sit.
Having failed to act with tact,
government now begins to wilt. 

On fast unto death, farmers sit,
refusing food till demands are met.
Government now begins to wilt,
buyers called and new prices set. 

Refusing food till demands are met,
temporarily stir is put on hold.
Buyers called and new prices set,
farmersí produce is finally sold. 

Temporarily stir is put on hold
as huge trucks gorge on rice.
Farmersí produce is finally sold,
still not happy with the price.

As huge trucks gorge on rice,
the buyers fear the rain.
 Still not happy with the price,
 farmers' mandi is empty again.

Copyright @ haryana-online.com & Rajiv Lather

In India, Mandi is a market place run by a Government board for the farmers to sell their produce.

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