Thursday, 12 May 2016


is not a woman
let alone a benevolent mother
draped in the tricolour,
head crowned,
Palm stretched to bless
those who shun her femininity
in all other forms.
India is dark and dusty,
It exists, at once,
In squalor and poverty and
glass towers and gated communities.
India subsists on a meagre meal
eaten out in the field or
thrives in the vicinity of air-conditioned malls
with gourmet deals.
India floats around
occupying empty stomachs and
lynched bodies with drooping hands,
hanging from peepul trees
over parched lands, or
in bodies running on treadmill belts
shedding stubborn fat
a desperate mother dreams to see
on her child's sunken face one day.
India could be covered from head to toe
or in a T-shirt and jeans for all you know.
India could sport a beard or
wrap a lungi like a pro.
But no,
India is just a land
of a billion people with
more ideas than can be enforced.
So don't you go
claiming India
as just your own
Don't just say you stand
for the 'idea of India'
and watch as unadulterated hate
intimidates and
paints all other thoughts black.
India is not one person
not my mother, my sister
or even the next door neighbour.
India refuses to be a woman
you revere as you rape
her daughters and sisters.
India does not rest at the
tips of your trishul or the
hem of your khaki shorts.
India will not be contained
in the notes of a single song
that only some can hum.
India is so much more than
the single thread you hold.
India is an experiment
in weaving a thousand threads
till you create the most dazzling fabric
that ever existed.
India is a painting in process,
A canvas with one billion strokes
of red, blue, green, and
every other shade you can imagine.
India is not saffron and
saffron is not India.
So please,
cease shoving your
idea of India
down our collective throats;
Let India be and
just be

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