A poem.

Elections had ended.

Torn banners with their symbols:

open palms, bicycles, lanterns, elephants

were swinging in the sharp breeze of Chaitra

from the branches of trees;

posters plastered on city walls

were fodder to the starved stray cattle;

the enormous cot-outs of the greats

were being ferried back to dusty garages

the young leaves and buds

on the trees sparkled as

the sinless red lips, and cheeks

of the kids.

Elections had ended.

Decorated arches had been uprooted

leaving only holes in the asphalt

no slogans, no speeches breathing fire;

only silence heaped as mountain

in the days’ heat.

Promises, frauds, deceits

were being cooked in the dark womb

of vote boxes

for the hungry millions,

defining their future.

Elections had ended.

Sitakant Mahapatra is a renowned Odia poet who has been awarded the Jnanpith and the Padma Vibhushan.