I Scream In The Sun

I'm walking 'round Connaught Circus
Looking for an ice cream in the sun
There's half-a-dozen men want to sell me money
And the day has just begun
I settle for a nimbu pani
Then I wonder what I have done
I'm catching the Rajdani in an hour
And I'm already on the run

  My family's waiting in Calcutta
  In a big hotel off the Maidan
  We're taking a trip up the Ganges
  To the place where it all began

Somewhere near the Tropic of Capricorn
There's a football match all over the road
Better press that horn again and again my friend
I really don't think anybody heard
The pumps are filling up the rice fields
As the evening sun sinks down
The colours make you feel you belong some place
Where nobody wears a frown

  There's someone waiting in the candlelight
  With eyes to make you see
  You stand at the door in the silver night
  And the drums will set you free

If only there was justice
If only there was strength
If only you could listen to 
The sound of your own prayers
If only you could find humility
In the desert of your life
There may still be a chance of sanity
An oasis free from lust and strife

  It's a brave new world, 
  You say there are bound to be mistakes
  You can call it collateral damage
  But I say you're looking a little half-baked

We came down the highway in the morning
By lunch we were over Iran
It was freezing cold when we stepped on the tarmac
We were back where we began
We left so many people to be with you
We served in silence for decades
It's lonely here in the suburbs
But the kids are relatively safe

  It's a hellish situation
  Your so-called duties have nearly broken their back
  You left them by the wayside
  And they don't know if there going forward
  Or if they're ever coming back

In the strange times that we live in
Everybody's looking for a fix
Some of them turn to religion
It's the way they get their kicks
They'll tell you how to find salvation
They tell you it won't be very long
They're taking cheques or a Visa card
They sing a high and mighty song

  But what if your spirit is lowly?
  Your quota remains undone?
  You call from a ditch at the side of the road...
  They melt away like ice cream in the sun.
 
Notes. 
The song is about a personal journey in spiritual life,
and the dangers of intemperate idealism. 
It doesn't fit neatly into the raw war theme of the 
other songs and poems, but just think 'vulnerability'.
I took the photograph at Vipranagar, a small village
on the River Jalangi, in West Bengal. The man is painting
the red cross to warn villagers that this well has been 
tested and found to contain dangerous amounts of Arsenic. 

Unfortunately, the Ganges silt on which Bengal and 
much of Bangladesh sits has some Arsenic component 
which has been oxidised by lowering of the water 
table and exposure to atmospheric oxygen. The Arsenic 
then passes into solution. The consensus among 
researchers seems to favour the theory 
that tube wells, introduced into the 
region by UNICEF nearly fifty years ago, are the main 
cause of the ground water lowering. Millions of 
people are at risk. Thousands have cancers and 
skin ulcerations. Many have died