Emergency at Bottom End

The machinery arrived too late.
It was called anyway, these days
By many hands which technology has not empowered.
At source, fire, water and others still master it all.

The explosion called us, diesel probably,
But at these times we thought a bomb.
And from where we stood it looked possible,
Just possible mind, to salvage the night

But closer, the smell, hot flesh imprints
On the windows, the steam -
Engine like as water and heat merged,
Told me anyway, it was over

Still, more calls came in
From mobile telephones we later learnt
Victims made these calls
Clutching at technology, still helpless to nature

(November 2001)

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