Poem: If I Die, Tell The World That I Was Killed Because I Was A Muslim

*Amidst disturbing situations across India, and especially in Delhi, I’m sharing my deep grief and disturbed chair.

If I die.

If I die in the fire that was lit last night,

Will you tell the world about me?

What is the story that you will tell?

Do tell, if you do, that my bones in the ashes didn’t feel the pain due to the burns, but by the voices which didn’t shiver while setting me on fire.

Do tell, if you do, that I grew up believing that religion cannot overpower humanity for it teaches to nurture and not to kill.

Do tell, if you do, that I always longed to accompany chacha (uncle) in the neighbourhood to the temple he visited every day.

Do tell, if you do, that I had a journal in my trunk, in which I’ve written tales wondering about the smiles the world may hold if there were chords of love and not distinctions.

Do tell, if you do, that my last sight was not of the crumbling wall, but of my mother moaning by my burning body.

Do tell, if you do, that I had a tear in my eye which was an ocean of hope that someone will come and stop the waves of insanity.

Do tell, if you do, that it was hard to succumb to the prevalence of chants over prayers and hate over love.

Do tell, if you do, that in the moment of my last breath I remembered everyone who had kept me alive and all who have let me burn.

Do tell, if you do, that I died for the world where fire would be a mark of peace and light, and not of genocide.

Do tell, if you do, that I was a human beyond the rigidities of any identity, but still, I was killed; I was killed because I was a Muslim.

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