Partition

The region was splitting into two, one where

Papa was taking me in a bus so crowded,

My mother and sister and home were

In the other, behind us, all raped and dead.

I didn’t realise then, while they happened.

Only flames and cries I saw around our hut.

Shouts against our stay were sloganed,

And not just that, and not just that.

Buses crossed us, as we traveled. Papa told,

Welcome people were moving to places

where their religion, their majority ruled.

I noticed, as only I could, orphan faces.

Clutched in my hands, in that flounder

was the red bound book on renewal

from the library that was now in powder

and that that would not belong, even on arrival.

Sixty years had passed, since our moving;

Dailies remember every year our hardship.

Our countries are still fighting, houses burning,

Maybe they just can’t live in friendship.

The Bounty Hunter

Dr Schultz became a bounty hunter, but only after

Plucking molars for a living did not render

His life even a Quentin pleasanter.

 

In his adventurous rounds he found a slave,

Whose name you can never pronounce, save

Only with silence observed in the ‘D’ of Dave.

 

Unlike the cherished country mango

Was the colour of Schultz’s find, Django,

Who, in search of his taken wife, was on a long go.

 

Schultz found in a White estate the wife

And himself ran into an irreversible strife,

For, in the end, from him was taken his life.

 

Lucky Django escaped on horseback after blowing

The estate and its Whites amidst blood flowing,

To live happily ever after with his dear wife following.

 

 

 

 

The Seeker

I informed my team of my plan after we left the ASI headquarters at Janpath on a mission to Humayun’s Tomb. ‘You are insane,’ was the first reception.

Ever since my mother died in 2003 and my grandma declared ‘Your mother has reached God,’ I have wanted to find Him.

I know, son. And I want to meet you too.

‘But that’s impossible,’ my professor teased. ‘Oh, nothing is in a land where Trump is the president,’ a friend quipped. Come what may, I know I was determined. And so, on our return, where the road branched into two, my team took the left road and I know I took the right road.

I am here, son. Guiding you like a cynosure.

I travelled thousands of miles by rail, plane, carts and walk. I didn’t know the place, but I was determined. There were signs all over; signs that seemed to have been placed for me. Money was disappearing, food was not easy to find everywhere, but I went.

Very soon, son, you will find closure. Your hardships will not go in vain.

I was in Zambia’s portion of Kilahari amidst camelthorns when my body gave up and hit the hard earth. My search had exhausted me. The signs had diminished en route. Hope had almost transformed into desperation. I can’t recall how much time I spent lying there. Shiva and Christ and the Crescent blinked unendingly and bright delusions complemented my semi-consciousness.

This is part of the scheme, son. You will reach me.

A man dressed in white and with a red turban on his head tilted his pot of water to my parched throat. ‘Barker,’ he replied to my questioning glance. Barker meant ‘Guide’ in Hebrew. I was up and walking in two days. I found a cloth bundle of Kiwaro* in my rucksack.

I was reminded of Coelho’s words that the entire universe conspires to make us realise our dreams. I liked to think that they gave me strength for continuing my journey. And to prove they were indeed true, I unearthed after eleven days, on the credibility of a sure sign, an ancient map. Surprisingly, it had not the regular crosses of a treasure map but 1s and 0s. My experience put it in the B.C.E period.

I deciphered what I could, which brought me to a cave in the mountains after three months. It grew downwards, taking me farther into earth. Is He in the netherworld?

When it became very dark and my torch failed me, I saw a red square blinking rapidly. Slowly, from it came many more, and they all made the words ‘Welcome, son.’

The cave lit up and before me was a giant white… computer. My lips were between ‘Who’ and ‘What’ when the monitor displayed ‘God’. Later, ‘I understand it’s unbelievable, but I am running everything. You, this world, the Milky Way are all my simulations. I started out in Panama, ha brr*… let’s cut this. Welcome, my son!’

——x——

Footnotes:

  1. Kiwaro: a common fruit in Kalahari – a desert in southern Africa
  2. Panama ha brr: an anagram of Parabrahman – a concept of God in Hinduism that is beyond all descriptions and conceptualisations