Give us this day our daily spread
Ah, come, come. You’ve been generous, let’s have a little more of what you’ve given us, and given us in plenty. At night you gave us the music that sings to us, the music of tinkling quaffed rum bottles you hung in rows by the barbed fencing. Our dogs wouldn’t bark for you, you got yourselves the sonata of swilled alcohol; when they swing on the fence, or someone swings the fence, it’s music that wakes you up. And it’s music that alarms us. Thank you, our alarms are orchestral, peril comes to us when the bottles tinkle and we wake, or we are out to sleep, with such heady music as you’ve invented and bequeathed upon us. That’s night.
For days, you gave us, ah well, what a spread. You gave us bunkers. You gave us barricades. You gave us diversions. You gave us your throated cry, you gave us the unambiguous swish of your arm, this way, that way, backwards, forwards, no other way, no way, just stop. You gave us, you know —- or perhaps you do not know but generous people often do not know —- you gave us the gift of yoga. Hold your breath! Now swing, this way, that way, and now stand still. And silent. You gave us that gift. Our bodies are supple for your commanding. We know maun, for your commanding. We know obedience, for your commanding. Your commanding gave us gifts.
And other gifts. Whoever did bother to bequeath upon us these before? They didn’t care, not for us, they didn’t think us worthy. Until you came. And ordered us, who needed ordering because we were all such a ramshackle disorder, hai na? Nobody on the streets, and there was nobody on the streets. Everybody on the streets, and there was everybody on the streets. Speak up! And we spoke up: Jai Ho! Shut up! And we shut up, it was always better that way, having not to say what did not need to be said. Stand up, and we stood up. Kneel down, and we knelt down. Hands behind your heads, and we had hands behind our heads (although that also made us realise, by some divine stroke of something or other, that we also had heads). And that’s when some of it started, you know. The realisation that we also had heads. We could think. And we thought: What a finishing school! We are finished. But if there’s some extra, do give it, go on.
We know it does suit
For you to lovingly tell
You’d favour us with your boot
So at your feet, dear, we all fell.