My Lords, “Rajas” and “Chaudhrys”
How you tire in your claims?
Born to “nobles” “lineages” high, yours is ‘nobility’ supremely entrenched!
Of past glories, “Jaghirs”, of providence unchecked
You accept your fate with elated breath
But what good are titles of ancient fiefs
when your wards of providence have to earn their keep?
In dirty mills, on rickety legs, they make cause to share their spoilt beds
As you expend your labours for hunger’s sake
Their hues are blackened by England’s sooty roots
If this be ‘nobility’ then surely the old clans are dead
and in their courts, on their cushions, sit egos bloated of dubious breeds
like shepherds galore waylaid by bony sheep
and still you sing ‘their’ hymns in paupers’ drapes
in full glare of your “Kammis” you work your dues in toil shared
But you are our “Earls” and your are our “Dukes”
in whose memory you defile the path of nobility and grace
and so I marvel in wonder, in bemusement and despair,
the shame it would take for you to feel the whip of your flippant quip!
as you crack wise jokes about the ‘bereft’ and their ‘muddled’ ways
Rajas” and “Chaudhrys”, “menials” and “serfs”,
We are all orphans of an age long mourned
As highborn or low with riches or none,
It is flattery of ‘titles’ that gives the lie to the ‘honour’ we feign
For the ‘Realm’ we left and her ‘Poverty’ we fled,
They call us immigrant “Pakis” in this land of Great Blighty!
‘Rajas’/‘Chaudhrys’; titles of an Indian nobility class; ‘Jaghirs’; fiefs’/landed estates; ‘Nawabs’; Noblemen; ‘Durbars’; court; ‘Gaddees’; cushions/thrones; ‘Kammis’; low born/bereft (offensive); ‘Ghulams’; slaves
Read the related article; Understanding titles of nobility and our culture of dispossession by Reiss Haidar