Paapri De

[Paapri De was a four year old girl who, after swallowing a pen-cap in play, first suffered from lack of treatment and then died when a certain Dr. Mal injected her with adult dose tranquilizers since it was very late at night]

Little Paapri is too foolish
Ate something other than food
That’s how in the little throat
The pain got stuck and stood.

Gulp it down little girl, gulp
The pain stopping your breath
Life in this land only means
Swallowing the pain of death.

Little Paapri is too foolish
A little dull, I have to say,
Else she’d know such things
Are happening everyday.

Little Paapri is too foolish
Hasn’t learnt to swallow pain,
How dare you spend, little girl,
The country’s time in vain!

Little Paapri is too foolish
The medical tools are gone
Out-of-order; so what?
Democracy lives on!

“Little Paapri is too foolish,”
Thinks Doctor Mal,
“Why be a doctor this late,
With no sleep at all?”

Sleep, little Paapri, go to sleep.
Why at all were you born ever?
I’ve made and sung my song,
Now with a sigh I’ll slumber.


Sudipto Chatterjee

New York University

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