Monday, December 18, 2006

A Christmas Meditation: From a Six Year Old in Jaffna

The war in Sri Lanka between militant Tamil Tigers and the Sri Lankan Government forces has taken a severe toll particularly on the (mostly Tamil) people who live in the nothern city of Jaffna, who feel constantly under seige. By any reckoning its a humanitarian catastrophe.

Now my appa* not bring anything to me
Nothing in the shops he says
Why, how, reason they say I can’t understand
Sweets , biscuits, butter, milk powder
Even egg and fish , Where all these have gone?

My loved ones give calls asking what I want?
A list I used to give, but helpless , no way to send it.
Three days ago my friend in my class told me
Her aunt from Colombo sent a postal parcel
Containing Milk powder, Sugar, biscuits, and washing powder
When they opened , a mixer! sugar with washing powder
But biscuits and Milk powder they enjoyed

My aunt too gave a call to know how we are?
I told her to send Biscuits and Milk powder
Not to send washing powder!

Every morning waiting for the postman
Yesterday morning my appa was late
To buy bread in the queue, no bread
I went to school without breakfast
And nothing for school interval

Today as usual curfew lifted at 5 A.M
People are in several queues
To ship, co-operative, Kerosene, etc.,
My appa went to the bread queue
Came with bread and plantain
I ate two slices and taken two to school

During the interval I opened the Tiffin box
My friend looked at me from next seat
She has not brought anything to eat
I found she has not eaten breakfast too
She has lost her father, no one to be in the queue
I broke the bread shared with her
I realized that the SAME BREAD
Appa breaking in the Church
I broke it in my small class room

- Thaniya Nesakumar

- * appa is a Tamil word for father


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