India divided

partition images

The damp earth caressed her calloused feet as she fled

Squeals of agony defiled her conscience as she hid in the fields,

Rancid was the air and her heart lay numb,

They had been slaughtered like animals.

The greatest blow had been dealt.

They didn’t burn the dead.

The crows tore at their fresh flesh,

Night fell in a flurry:

Her body trembled as she dragged back her feet.

The huts were silent.

Not a single soul was alive:

Her husband’s handsome head stared at her,

His body was nowhere to be seen;

She screamed as she saw more,

Her sons lay in a tight embrace sealed in blood.

There was no time to weep or cremate the dead;

The judgement of religion had finally been made –

She gazed at the mirror and saw a numb creature,

Neither Hindu nor Muslim.

A human being stripped of all that meant life –

A blade lay in the corner.

She wanted to leave this cursed land.

They had torn her country and people in peace,

She tore the holy books and broke all the idols that bound her.

She chopped off her fine, long hair,

All that made her a woman was thrown away

This was her rebirth,

Death or life acquired equality.

She walked numbly towards the millions,

Who stood waiting at the railway station.

To live in a new partitioned land,

Or to die like a hunted animal on the ‘death train’

Either way, nothing mattered anymore.




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