A Qabr of Loktantra by Nameera Anjum Khan
Day 13, almost 10 PM
I have taken another breath. Alhamdulillah.
God wants me to live.
My purpose is a chameleon, like the one I saw in Terminator I,
Before Arnold Schwarzenegger draws into the picture. A villain this time.
A hero tomorrow.
It was all absolute fantasy to a wide-eyed 4-year-old,
She always wanted him to be the good guy;
But the plot had other plans / so did life.
The 7th Grade Science experiment still holds true,
When the Litmus Test gives an answer too cruel - the majority turns to turmeric. A feeble attempt to neutralize Democracy, to drown her in the yellows of Haldi; the newlywed bride. I can hear my Hindu friends laugh and dance around the Dholki, it'll be fine, just dance for now!
My ears translate: Just die for now. You will live soon!
A freshly dug grave.
Their tongues (The Politicians) are pink, Phenolphthalein if I'm not wrong?
That pink is the blood they drink. That blood is mine.
In the shadow of 'The Other' is my friend Dalit,
Suffering at the hands of an entire era, a sickness in propagation.
Even the help accorded to them was a form of 'Favour',
What is the point of reservation anyway?
The irony remains, that those who deserve the actual benefit, are still in the shadows of dawn.
Let us bury our 'untouchable' sins behind,
Let us drown our 'Islamophobia' in the waters of 'Uniformity', 'Secularity' and 'Legislation';
Let us rename this Democracy,
'A Qabr of Loktantra' - oh wait, that reminds me of Ganga-jamuna tehzeeb, my bad!
We don't believe in tehzeeb anymore. We believe in burning down shops, slaughtering a lover for loving beyond caste, demolishing a masjid thinking that the bhagwan in a Mandir is applauding such actions.
Much like the science-fiction, living in this reality leaves me wide-eyed;
Except that there is no AI holding me down by my throat. It is a human hand, much like my own.
Democracy speaks in 'third-person affirmation' by Mohua Chakraborty
you lay sleepless under
domestic garments of penance
dyed with saffron threads
on sacrificial thumbs,
democracy hunches around them
spinning emancipation tied to their feet;
a game of swiftness in
'slip of tongue'
on country streets,
sprinting in circles to devour
veiling how moulds of fists
hang in an upright genesis,
draining shrieks to
that shelters hunger
till fortnight crawls up
to occupy spaces.
coward(ice) gets shunned in
bravery's nest and
you elaborate encounters
in piled-up charge sheets,
in blindfolded pixels holding
an (im)balance of voice boxes,
scribbling on the land of temples,
where urgency is a guide to
repercussions of which
stands out from the
deaf crowd muting blasts
mumbling at the rate
of 356 stitches per outbreak,
democracy speaks in
just before elections and
distributes miscarried promises
on the delivery day.
it fetches fire from voltage houses
to figure out candles
are made to drip into
nothingness yet brings out
reprimands in competitive marches,
high school mirages baptise
dismantled post boxes
lingering in a cabinet
full of frozen linguistics,
rising to step on output charts
ending up in penalty shots
embossed on victims,
trading blood for carbon scraps,
while realities are pirated on
the grave of inscrutable prescriptions.