Miles from a place fondly called home,
a small plastic bottle of FIJI Water peers at me
through the doors of a convenience store,
teasing and tormenting, begging me to take it back.
I reach out fondly,
only to jerk my hand away.
They say it’s untouched by civilization,
They say it provides jobs,
They swear to carbon-free emissions,
Then why does my body break down in sobs?
Water that leaves my people dehydrated and dead,
Water that kills,
Water that props up an illegal military regime,
Who knew it could have so much power?
Your colonial thirst for a taste of my paradise,
Highly dense and hyper-sexualized,
Life reduced to an exotic merchandise,
The blood of my people actualized.
This plastic bottle is all I have left of a place I’ll never see
With some half-forgotten memories of a country that doesn’t remember me
Prerna Lal (Pani, Memory and Post-Colonial Identity)