In the various technicolor masks
We slip on,
the performance of the office amphitheater
The real self for a flicker
Peeping through the various iterations
Of mental costumes,
Between meetings, small talk
The performance of the ‘face’
In front of the open office
Real work just about, happens
Inspite of the mask
Lean in, authenticity is feel good
Work life integration is (actually) work all through
The real self often wonders
Was it better to born as an AI chat bot?
Is it possible to be the self again?
May be 4IR will download consciousness too, one day
Deepak Unnikrishnan’s Temporary People is the best migration oriented book on the Gulf and in general in a while. The power of this poetry and prose has an experiment texture but delivers the message about the Indian ness or the sheer lack of it once one has never lived in India, and the conception of an Indian Citizen is constructed in Indian Schools in the Gulf.
The precariousness of the gulf migrant is depicted vividly in a variety of narrative forms. I can resonate with the book so much that every time I read it, there is an emotional explosion within me. The Alienation, the distance, the hurt and the perennial negotiation to survive while working to feed mouths back home, is the Pravasi, who is marked by this absence.