The Lockdown Blues

Award-winning Author Murzban F. Shroff Pens Pandemic Poetry Series

Mumbai-based author Murzban F. Shroff, known for his award-winning books, Breathless in BombayWaiting for Jonathan Koshy, and Fasttrack Fiction, has now penned a series of poems on the Covid-19 pandemic, tracking its causes and consequences. Shroff, a Commonwealth Prize-shortlisted author and a 6-times Pushcart Prize nominee, says he turned to poetry in order to capture the intensely emotional and psychological states created by these extraordinary circumstances. “The purpose of literature is to bring man in closer contact with nature, to expand our understanding of the universal laws that govern us, and which we are bound to obey by mere virtue of having taken birth on this planet. I found poetry to be a liberating and powerful medium to convey this,” adds Shroff. “The Lockdown Blues” (below) is part of a series of poems that will feature in Shroff’s debut collection of poetry. Shroff’s stories have appeared in over 65 literary journals in the U.S., UK, and Australia. He has been invited to speak about his work at universities like UC Berkeley, UCLA, and USC, and at literary festivals like the London Short Story Festival, the Emirates Literature Festival, and the Irrawaddy Literary Festival in Myanmar. Shroff can be contacted on

The Lockdown Blues

This is the winter of our confinement

This is the spring of our unease

This is the summer of our expectations

The fall of our species

This is the weakness of our senses

This is the outcome of our greed

This is the collapse of our intellect

The negation of our needs

This is the night of our darkness

This is the prison of our morrows

This is the cumulus of our burden

The song of our sorrows

This is what we brought our world to

Conquering land and sea and sky

Not for a moment did we pause

Thinking where our limits lie

We robbed the earth of its beauty

And we drained the soil of its strength

We blew off the tops of mountains

We were so hellbent

We did not spare the rocks

And we did not spare the trees

We even dammed our rivers

Before they could reach the seas

We did not spare the seabed

And we did not spare the air

We did not think of the species

With whom our planet we share

And now we live in solitary caves

Nothing to show for our wealth

Worrying about our future

Uncertain about our health

Do I have the virus?

Do I show the signs?

Will I make it safely

Make it through these times?

Will we live like humans?

And will we roam at will?

Or will we experience life

Standing at our window sill?

Will we live off our phones

And our flat-faced computer screens?

Will we know once more

What real freedom means?

Will we rub shoulders?

And will we feel the same?

Will we ever hug

And learn to trust again?

Murzban F. Shroff

As published in the Parsi Times E-Paper Dated 4 July 2020.

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