Thursday, March 5, 2009

Phoenix Mumbai

Today I feel helpless, like the soldier boy
with an amputated leg, who wants to fight
but the shackles of reality won't let him. I saw

innocent hopes and dreams being crushed, I
heard civilians cry and media go awry. Stop
this cowardice and fight like a soldier-- if you are

one. When the night poured in, your viciousness
flooded our lives, wiping the vermillion off women's
hair and making the mothers' wombs cry. You

slaughtered in the name of religion. Spattered
blood in the veins and crevasses of a loving,
tolerant city. You stand alone in your malice.

This time it's personal. It's gone too far. You
invaded my city, my life. Sent peace fleeing with
the souls of those dead. Discard the pretentious

garb of bravery. You are a heartless killer to me. Do
what you want. Try all you can. It's me. I'll emerge
stronger than before. Mumbai makes this promise to you.

I wrote this poem right after the heinous attacks on Bombay, which began on November 26th and didn’t end until the 29th of the month. So, why am I sharing this piece after three months of the unfathomable act? I don’t know. Maybe it’s the vicious attack on the Sri Lankan team that’s brought back memories or the fact that a coworker’s boyfriend is actually moving to Pakistan (for a defined period of time) to study the “true” relationship between Indians and Pakistanis and not their bureaucratic leaders fostering animosity. Ironically, he’s convinced that he’ll probably be killed midway through his research. I, for one, hope his intuition is wrong.

More until next time.

Copyright © 03.05.2009


S said...

Very nice, Sweta. I am so glad you shared it..

Anonymous said...

loved it. realllllly nice. put more poems on your blog.

debug22 said...

Very nice poem, Sweta. Your writing has really come around 360 degrees from the early days and become provocative and a joy to read. I'm looking forward to reading your prose in print as well as more poems.