As the chaos enfolds in my city,
I feel the memories of the past rush by.
This city doesn’t feel like home anymore,
my grandma’s tales of partition no longer seem like distant lores.
Bigotry, hatred and violence spreads throughout, as we try to recall what we were once taught.
Nehru and Gandhi curdle in their graves, for this isn’t the India they fought.
Love thy neighbour, my first learning;
is it still cognisant as my Delhi is burning?
Our voices of dissent are curbed and their throats slashed,
because freedom is an idea only for the rich and powerful.
Mazhars are burnt, and flags are hoisted, of our God who would’ve not enjoyed this.
Was our India always like this, I question myself as I remember the riots of 1984, the partition of 1947, the mutiny of 1857 and the genocide of 2002. Was this the India I want to grow up in as I relive my childhood where friendship and love did not depend on religion or hue.
But amidst the chaos, our culture binds us, as the loving open their hearts and their homes, to the wounded who practice another faith, perhaps the only difference that they hold.
The saffron colour is no more of sacrifice and courage, and stands for cowardice and malice.
The rage and love for our country persists, as we resist the dark forces.
And I write this from the comfort of my home, for I am one of the lucky ones,
whose religion is not stamped on their soul.