The saffron in my biriyani,
Became the colour that parted my Eid, from your Diwali
I remember, walking down the lane in my Baba’s village.
The memories of muddy water lotuses,
Never knew would become the symbol that separated us.
Dressed in labels, liberals and fanatics and extremists
We collude with the lines of faith.
Brothers of mine torched the homes of sisters of yours, sisters of mine.
With hands adorned by the same rakhi’s
That they pledged to protect me.
I can hear the whispers of mutiny,
Dancing with corsages, in political corsets.
The streets turn red, though my white kurta
Is stainless for the Holi, yet to come.
Hearts that hid beneath sheets of love
Now go seek patches of dissent
Sewing sheets of dissonance.
And we hem them with laces of discord
The flames of an English crown,
Soon reignited, divides us again.
Ripped through the flames of Sati
Yet, India burns in a pyre of its own.
~ Antara Basu