New Year Celebration

am i to burst crackers or light candles
or dance in open field or visit a tourist spot
to celebrate new year’s eve?
or am i to make a list of lands
where blood flooded streets?

yesteryear it was North Delhi and Bengaluru
the year before was a miss
and i am puzzled how?
in 2018 it engulfed Bihar,
in 2017 it blackened parts of
Haryana, Punjab, UP, Rajasthan, Delhi
and our Baduria homes,
Dhulagarh, Coimbatore, Kaliachak
fell from grace in 2016,
Bashirhat became a national name in 2015
how can we forget, friends,
Saharanpur of 2014,
Muzaffarnagar of 2013,
Assam and Canning of 2012?

should i make more backward leap or stop?
should i include Gujarat of 2002?
yes, you are right i have no moral right.
the man sails million boats
to the promised shore you wish to land.
bhaiyo aur behno!
in new year
we must mark a week or a month
or the whole long year in our unblemished
calender to celebrate burning of our
homes, raping of our sisters, lynching
of our children, arresting of our youths,
selling of our forests, mines and waters.

 i feel sorry for i can’t wish you
a bright morrow of love and peace,
or justice, equality and freedom,
still i wish you all unalloyed dreams,
dreams of immense possibilities,
for Hughes said, ‘if dreams die
life is a barren field.’

(This poem is taken from my collection, Undying Embers, Authorspress, 2022, pp. 68-69)

To buy the book, click here

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I write because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, said George Orwell. As a writer, I never kowtow to the whims and dictates of the sacred godmen or godwomen, the political bigots and hypocrites, dealers of laymen, the dishonest and self-serving intellectuals, traders of religions, the betrayers of ‘other’ Indians who eke out a living by their sweat, who are living in fear for being lynched for this and that.

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