when we speak of the Partition,
we do not speak of history
for so powerful is loss,
that even history trembles in its pain.
loss is not for codification and
a sobered analysis of processes,
loss is for mourning
in memory’s veritable chambers.
so I mourn, in silent memoriam.
to Radcliffe and his inability to divide,
rarely is history known to its makers
I wonder if you realised how your
lines forever pierced our hearts
maybe cartography does indeed have
several apologies to make, and
several carelessly drawn lines to
how do we forgive you?
this is to remember Amrita Pritam,
for Waris Shah may never have come
but you almost convinced us he will.
may you dissolve in memory’s cruelty,
weave its luminous threads
and meet us again, as promised.
this is to remember Madan ‘Dada,’
and his helpless love for Urdu
tall, graceful strokes, and the
pulchritude of its pronunciation
never could politics reconcile you
with Devanagari, so never
could you love my name.
if alfaaz do indeed have a religion
which one would you be?
this is to remember dear Nani,
and her longings of Lahore
of which I remember my utter failure
to rationalise why Lahore must
be Pakistan, and you an Indian, why
home is now so distant
and your beloved so forlorn.
chilgoze in Delhi, if season permits,
will never be as delightful as Lahore’s,
for history needs its victims to be.
disagree as the Anglicans may
we surrendered you to
reasons of the state, in khadi’s
somber folds, and the inside of
you existed when we were one,
now I hear your agonising cries.
may you find the strength
to forgive us.