Are you even there?

(Trigger Warning: I have jotted down some reflections on the pandemic in India, about the "system" and the response to devastation by the powers that be. I acknowledge that it is an achingly draining topic for many of us, with the tragic losses we see all around. I also wondered if it is right to write anything negative on the epic mishandling we have witnessed. I have chosen to share this poem despite these thoughts, because I believe that recording one's thoughts in these times (a) serves as a bookmark for the future, and (b) censoring oneself to avoid asking questions and remaining positive is toxic positivity and absolves those who deserve these questions. Please read this only if you are comfortable with broaching this topic. You can always drop me a text to discuss this poem, or anything at all, any time. In these times, solidarity and time with friends and family, and engagement with each other will see us through.)