"Kisi ke baap ka Hindustaan thodi hai."
— Rahat Indori, an Urdu poet from Indore who
was detained during the Emergency for calling the government
a bunch of thugs.
in the audience was a child my age every year belted schoolboy in the lot of parked buses singing hum honge kaamyab ek din i cannot tell him this our days discover whole maps discover floorboards laugh like children but in the afternoon the blood below our knees froths pledge allegiance where are you from? where are your parents from? & the police rounds everywhere like the year of partition the year of no country wants you to smile in portraits. you know it's true but you don't say the wall pretended to be ground ground pretended to be house house pretended to be full of people. night after night after neck without blood we knew better the playground dirt wrists pounding body musk god save voice yells & faces wither from their faces like garland of sweat oil runs toward the fields burns. i learnt the word people before i learnt the word country. the peepal tree ripe with a story we are allowed to exist inside textbooks give me hometown with no ghost trains delivering war hometown with red mangoes no one angry at the world. here’s everyone seated blood-curled fields speak in monosyllables what is a country if not a country of people? we trace our bodies outlines in my dreams our hands forever stitched in prayer. good children who is there? your mother shouts from the other room and no one comes running your mother sang verse after verse after god her gaze rushed towards the door when you were late home from school & she thought of a thousand other things cried. my people know my people by the sound their breath makes when the lights go out when the lights go out and the cops say who will protect us? so someone died then another then 20 people then more. who did you say you voted for? who is a citizen of this country? in the news someone said i will bury you alive and there's a goonj in the city and my people are never home anymore.
|No Country (3)|
The poem is in response to the anti-CAA and NRC protests in India.
CAA+NRC is the greatest act of social poisoning by the Indian government.
We must raise our voice and stand up with the people against CAA, NRC and NPR.
We must fight to protect our future. Speak up.
The poem references to Rahat Indori’s ghazal.
Goonj means echo.