Corporate Vegetables

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Contributor: Sheshu Babu

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"Onions! Tomatoes!
Potatoes! Sweet potatoes!"
She would yell
Knocking doors or ringing bells
And women would come out to bargain
And purchase her fresh vegetables again and again.

She would go home after a long struggling day
Emptying her overhead basket on the way
And feel elated to count the notes and coins
Earned through enduring unspeakable pains.

Those days are over.

She still starts with weighty basket over her head
Carries all kinds of vegetables meticulously spread
Stares at the doors locked inside and outside
She hears no sounds of vegetable-purchasing women far and wide
As she strolls down the by-lanes and busy cacophony streets,
Crowds of women pass by with vegetable plastic bags sounding rhythmic beats
Purchased from wholesale corporate malls
Or attractively arranged retail stalls

She meanders thru and reaches home
Dreary evening, hunger and thirst welcome
Her with hopeless, uncertain future
And force her reconcile with the grim picture

Her basket is full of vegetables and tears:
The result of impending corporate domination fears
She is one among those petty vegetable vendors
Whose lives have been destroyed by selfish, industrial predators

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