Theme: Pretense

Wheelchair Might

Get on the wheelchair
Bypass the immigration mire
Have your way swift
Through security check
Pretend you are disabled
Be an object of pity
Drag your feet
Like beggars on Bombay streets

Or put your parents on wheelchair
Even if they are like athletes fit
Gobble tonnes of sweets
Without the blood sugar
Rising even a wee bit

Then escort them in and out
Laughing at the toilers behind
Who wait in long lines
At indifferent counters
Wiping sweating foreheads
Cursing unmoving watches
Idiots who don’t realize
Craftiness they should devise
If quick success is the end in sight

This my friend is the secret
To success in the world
Do not ever be sentimental
Follow this everywhere
Thou shan’t grieve
Born thou art to survive

Put your candidates on wheelchair
Contest elections to parliament
Why not even have the chair
As election symbol
You will win for sure
Riding the sympathy wave
A tear-box is any time proof
Even against popular tides

And as you wheel your easy way out
Of the world’s numberless airports
Your head clogged with the dream
Of owning a wheelchair business in boom
Don’t forget to wink without shame
At those who still stay behind
Whose rights you have infringed

The gracefully aging ones
Octogenarians and nonagenarians
Alike of the world’s every nook and corner
Still waiting at the belts
For their baggage to arrive
Their spines held steady like steel
Shaming all the metal you wheel
Who still find ardour
In their fast aging vigour
Image © Madathil Rajendran Nair


More By  :  Madathil Rajendran Nair

Views: 1435     Comments: 9

Comments on this Poem

Comment This poem brought a chuckle, but at the same time made me sad. I too have seen the abuse of wheelchairs. I thought of the time I had the privilege to meet Smt. Krishnammal Jagannathan (a Gandhian and social activist, read about her at This octogenarian would not accept any assistance to get up from the floor saying, "I have so much to do still. If I can't even get up on my own, how am I going to accomplish anything?".

23-Feb-2014 11:16 AM

Comment Dear Shri.Madathil Rajendran Nair,

There are genuine users, but those who exploit the situation and the facility are more. Poor wheel chair. Your ability to write on any thing and everything is highly commendable.


23-Feb-2014 00:28 AM

Comment Rajanji, a philosophical poem depicting the present day sad state of affairs. We can find wheelchair occupiers everywhere in India. Political parties make use of the 'wheelchair might' especially during election time.Well written. Keep on writing. R.C.Nair

21-Feb-2014 03:07 AM

Comment An experience well revealed...! Appreciate the effective, humor entwined lines. A bold attempt to reveal the actual scenario.
Keep up the good work..!!

Subhash & Sumathi,Coimbatore
20-Feb-2014 23:11 PM

Comment DearShri.Madathil,

from now on will watch all wheel chairs including those not occupied to see any foul play, but why vaccant ones, poor wheel chairs.


20-Feb-2014 21:23 PM

Comment Nair Uncle, It is funny you wrote a poem on this thought - which is a sneaky problem with several Indian parents in airports - some with genuine need - but some simply exploiting the service. Very boldly written on a rather uncomfortable topic for several. The essence is in the fact that some among us forget the fact that we are not standing on our own but relying (and believing) in crutches!

(was starting to wonder where your poem production went - glad to see it coming back alive again now)

Anu Krishnan
20-Feb-2014 15:23 PM

Comment Thanks a lot, Padmaja-ji and Rian-ji, for your support.

20-Feb-2014 14:09 PM

Comment These were the very same thoughts that occurred to me during my recent flight from Mumbai to Singapore. Surprisingly, most on wheelchairs across the world are our own countrymen! Hope your poem gives them spine or, at least, a sense of shame.

Rian John
20-Feb-2014 13:57 PM

Comment An excellently written poem with great satire and also hard hitting! Kudos Nairji.

Padmaja Iyengr
20-Feb-2014 12:15 PM

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