In this activity 2, I would like to share a poem written by Mohor Khan who is 34 years old and born in Munshiganj, Bangladesh. He came to Singapore to work in the construction sector in 2007. I have chosen this particular poem because it really touches me and it really made me empathize with his feelings. I can feel his sadness and sorrow deep within, what he yearns for but can never seem to have it.
In his first few lines of the first stanza,
“Streets with no madding crowds, its traffic melodious
spotless as the hearts of the civilized people of this city
diverse with crafted monuments”
He is trying to say that because of the construction workers, Singapore is what it is today. I could totally agree to that because they are the ones who built many of our housing blocks, schools, hospitals and many other buildings.
The last few lines of the first stanza,
“Everyday, with the perfect touch
of the bottomless love of my heart
this city, mother Singapore, has turned into
the chariot of the world
riding on the extravagance of youth”
is trying to imply that they are the ones that without fail, dedicate to their work and do the best they can and not half heartedly so that Singapore would be a better place.
The second stanza,
“Day after day I labour
Layers of this city are infused
with the salty smell of my sweat
Today I am a mad city lover”
shows that he works very hard and despite how tiring it is, he never gave up on it. All the hard work building the buildings we live in today is because they were there.
In his third stanza,
“Have I forgotten
My mother, my motherland?
My wife waiting for me all this time?
The child who will carry the flag of my family
Have I forgotten him too?”
He realises that he had forgotten how it felt like to be back home, he is homesick and misses his family. It is very sad that he is very far apart from his family, even I would feel lonely too. His wife, his child, he hasn’t been there for them because he has to come to Singapore to work and support them.
His fourth stanza,
Every night, sleepless in the same dream
The underground train of dreams moves relentlessly
And the greed of money blurs my destination”
This distance has put a hole in their relationship and he wants to go back to see them but he has to sacrifise them in order to provide for them. His love for them in this case is not direct because he can’t be there for them, but he works and sends money back home, helping them. What a great man worthy of respect.