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Sorry Neighbor.

I,

If I may,

Apologize.

I have been,

A devil in disguise.

 

Oh what ‘Aman ki Asha’?

What peace,

If I may ask?

My fellow countrymen,

A fallacy in which they bask..

 

I have killed love,

Harmony,

and every beautiful feeling.

I know hate,

Jealousy,

And why would I even conceal it?

 

Forget about a country,

Forget about a state.

The street that I live in,

There are many people I hate.

 

I may,

If I want to,

Wear a mask of love.

But really I’m a villain,

Benevolence, I don’t speak of!

 

And why,

Why on earth will I be ashamed?

And critical of myself?

Aren’t we all in this together?

How well we repel!

 

And teaching hatred,

To our kids.

Doesn’t sound so filthy.

“He did first, then I did”,

We find it healthy!

 

And isn’t this,

What’s going on?

From the past 70 years?

Blaming each other and all of the rest,

“Uh! The mistake is THEIRS!”. (always)

 

There are widows on both sides,

Childless parents,

And also orphans.

But who cares to budge, my dear,

We are totally okay with coffins!

 

Well,

We do shed a tear or two,

Whenever a soldier dies.

But the martyr can’t be yours,

‘Cause otherwise we will rejoice!

 

A fake motherland,

I like to worship,

With all my heart.

But only for a day or two,

Rest of the days I’m a total pervert!

 

Bring on,

The next 70 years now,

Shall we?

The nations we both so love,

Let’s turn ’em into a debris!

 

XOXO,

H

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My Journal- Day 2

Today I came home early so I paid a visit to my nanaji. He was ecstatic to see me. And what really touched my heart was when he literally requested me to spend at least one hour with him on weekends.

 

Here I was, thinking, that nobody really needs me or feels happy around me and here I have, one of the most important persons in my life, begging me to come see him more often.

 

Life is, well, simple. Sometimes.

 

My co-workers detest me, to say the least. Every day I spend a good amount of time anticipating the reason why I am the most hated person at my workplace. And then there are some who brighten my day up and vice versa.

 

One thing struck my mind today. While ‘dealing’ with our fellow humans, we totally forget that they are humans! That they have complicated lives like us. That they go back to their deep, dark secrets and feel guilty. That they’ve been used. That they’ve been lied to. That they’ve been mistreated. That they’ve things they can’t really tell anybody.

And yet, we somehow, very easily indeed, blurt out harsh and mean words. And forget about being guilty about it afterwards.

 

Imagine a world, with clean air. Clean air. With no hate. No lies. A world that is painted in soft hues of pink and blue. With a tinge of greens and whites. Pastels all around. Happy people. Smiling at strangers. Youth helping the old. Clean air. Clean atmosphere.

 

Well, the chances are really bleak. But fantasies never hurt. Humans never hurt if treated properly.

 

What have we all become?

 

XOXO,

H

The Distant Freedom

I met a boy,

Distressed beyond words,

Crying relentlessly,

His appearance was shabby.

It was my curiosity,

That led me to him.

“Why are you crying?

O! Little child?”

At first he was a bit startled.

Looked at me straight in the eyes.

Then a weak voice came out,

“Nothing… It’s nothing.”

Now that I observed him,

Closely.

I couldn’t let him cry,

No.

So, I gained a bit of courage,

To ask this weeping, innocent child,

The cause of his distress.

This time, 

He was less wary of me.

Somehow, we both connected.

A feeble voice struggled to say,

“Baba is beating maa..”

And there I was,

Standing,

My hand on his shoulders,

I was speechless.

I was grappling with words.

What do I say?

How do I console?

How do I tell this little soul,

What his father is doing,

Is awry, beyond words..?

This guy lives a mile away,

From my neighborhood.

Fell in love,

With a damsel,

A heart that loved all.

People all around,

Frowned.

Love before marriage?

O! They were all embarrassed!!

Alas! Their love story,

Was short-lived.

Just like many,

We witness daily.

My friend had a dream,

To paint this world red,

The color of love.

She held her brush,

Dipped it in crimson pigment.

As soon as she took the brush out,

Her father held her hand,

Threw the brush away,

And placed a book there, instead.

She now lives a life,

In strife.

Disputes, her existence.

What was so wrong with the brush,

Anyways?

There’s a girl I see,

On the traffic signal, everyday.

Greets me with a huge smile,

And extends me a flower each time.

Wears a torn frock,

Always barefoot,

Hair gone blonde in the sun,

Skin, dry and broken…

I buy a rose from her,

For ten bucks,

Thinking,

I have bought a piece of bread for her.

And then we part ways,

Only to meet the next day.

I see, and I remain quiet.

I choose.

I choose to remain quiet.

Because I have the FREEDOM.

Yes. The FREEDOM.

Domestic violence.

Well, I should remain in silence.

Two hearts,

Forced to be apart.

Sounds too amusing,

For a gossip to kickstart!

Dreams of youth,

Kept under wraps.

This word ‘freedom’ that they taught us,

Well, it was just a trap!

Children asking for money,

On the streets.

O! Poor thing.

I may as well give.

But taxes?

Eh! How can I give it a miss?

Freedom has come down to,

Being a relative word.

For some,

It is a right.

To some,

It doesn’t come,

Even after a fair fight.

Only those celebrate it,

Who overlook its true meaning.

For the real thing is,

Freedom has never been ours…

 

P.S.- Be it Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad or Jawaharlal Nehru; we Indians have always loved our country. Since past 70 years, we are celebrating what has gone by and keeping our eyes shut to what is happening. Winning our country back from the Britishers was not freedom. Doing anything that doesn’t harm anybody is freedom. And I’m sorry to say, that freedom has not arrived yet. So, why not work towards it? Why not work to make our beloved country an ideal country? Let’s leave all the apprehensions behind. Let’s unite in uniting this country towards the cause of love; love that has shaken the very being of the strongest of hatred prevailing in this world. For, we live only once and let’s unite to make this one life worth living 🙂

 

Happy independence day, my fellow Indians 🙂

 

XOXO,

H

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Halfway Through, But Nowhere..

A thrush,

After complete hibernation.

Halfway through,

But not going nowhere.

 

The promises,

the hopes and the dreams.

Faded away,

In the stream,

Of thoughts,

That caught,

My attention.

Thereby,

Making me lose,

My own little world.

 

Speed as fast,

As that of a light.

My thoughts,

Took over my life.

 

Futile,

Is how I’ll describe.

My actions,

Made my life.

 

And, I knew,

The formula of losing,

By heart.

We, the ones fighting,

Gave birth to this art.

 

How? Procrastination.

And a severe dearth of,

A strong will,

And determination.

 

Halfway through this year,

And no way near,

To a world,

I vied for.

I have alas!

Lost my own war..

 

XOXO,

H

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Against The Tide!

They gleamed,

And laughed.

Thought I was defeated.

And celebrated my debacle,

Resembling the brute Germans,

Of WWII..

 

I kept quiet,

Sunk in my thoughts;

“Am I a weakling?”,

“Should I bear injustice?”.

 

How can I forget,

That I revere Madiba,

Who was an icon of perseverance!

 

How can I forget,

He was a lone warrior.

Led the way to freedom,

By his ignited heart.

 

How can I forget,

He fought for 27 long years.

A silent war..

And in the end,

Defeated the evil legacy,

In their own game!

 

Can I not replicate,

The victory of truth over lie?

Can I not make them,

Vie for good times?

 

I will be responsible,

For all the (mental) deaths, 

by these brutes…

And I have to fight,

At my own risk.

I fear none.

Because what they hold,

Doesn’t scare me anymore!

 

They make us weak.

Threaten us.

But we bear it all.

All because we are scared.

But this fear arises out of ignorance.

Ignorance that,

No human can be told,

How to breathe.

So breathe,

And show them,

That their evil ideology,

Will not prevail.

And that,

Truth always wins!

 

XOXO,

H ❤

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That Forbidden Land

Does this bird fly,

High in the sky,

In that forbidden land?

I wonder…

 

Children go to school.

Their bags stacked with books.

Mothers make breakfast.

In that forbidden land.

I wonder?

 

Did she marry,

The man of her dreams?

Did she go out,

To pursue her dreams?

In that forbidden land,

I wonder?

 

Friends going on long drives.

Girls giggling in posh cafes.

Ladies gossiping on streets.

Does this happen for real?

In that forbidden land,

I wonder?

 

That forbidden land,

Have swathes of paddy fields.

Children sleeping on footpaths,

It also has a bunch of women,

Who set an example for humanity.

 

That forbidden land,

Have grandpas and grandmas,

Who tell bedtime stories,

To children just like ours.

 

Can I join them too?

Can I be a part of their dreams?

Can I not understand their feelings?

In that forbidden land,

I wonder…

 

Our history the same,

Our ancestors fought for the same cause.

But we fail to identify,

That our existence rests upon love.

 

We bicker and fight,

Trying to bring each other down.

For past sixty years, what have we reaped?

Come on, give me an answer?

 

Kids cry, wail and then laugh.

Kids, theirs and ours.

What difference is it,

That makes them our enemies?

In that forbidden land,

I wonder?

 

Heer is befuddled,

To which side she lost her lover?

Ranjha roams in every street,

Which world stole from him his Heer?

 

Put your hand on your heart.

And then think it through.

Would you like the same hate?

The abuse you shower at them?

 

What is their fault?

What did they do?

Because of a bunch of politicians,

Billions of us suffer.

 

Born in the same land.

Our problems, the same.

Then instead of sympathy,

Why so much of hatred?

 

We humans will bring Doomsday,

Soon, very soon.

Why don’t we then bring in love?

And let those wounds soothe?

 

That forbidden land,

The land we all belong to

That forbidden land,

Is waiting for you, too…

STOP STREWING HATE AT PAKISTAN JUST BECAUSE IT IS PAKISTAN. #LOVEISTHEONLYSOLUTION 

indopak_jpg_1261225g

XOXO,

H

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The Bleeding, Burning, Weeping Punjab

Ajj Aakhan Waris Shah Nuu,
Kiton Qabraan Wichon Bol,
Tey Ajj Kitaab-e-Ishq Daa,
Koi Agla Warka Phol

Ikk Royi Sii Dhi Punjab Di,
Tu Likh Likh Maarey Wain,
Ajj Lakhaan Dhiyan Rondiyan,
Tenu Waris Shah Nuu Kain

Uthh Dard-Mandaan Diya Dardiya,
Utth Tak Apna Punjab
Ajj Bailey Lashaan Bichiyaan
Tey Lahoo Di Bhari Chenab

(Today, I call Waris Shah,
“Speak from inside your grave”
And turn, today,
the book of love’s next affectionate page

Once, one daughter of Punjab cried;
you wrote a wailing saga
Today, a million daughters,
cry to you, Waris Shah

Rise! O’ narrator of the grieving;
rise! look at your Punjab
Today, fields are lined with corpses,
and blood fills the Chenab)

This poem by legendary Punjabi poetess Amrita Pritam truly resonates the sentiments of those affected by the 1947 partition of Punjab.

punjabmap

Punjab, the land of five rivers, has endured a lot.. The land which gave us many great personalities; ten Gurus of Sikhism, legendary poets like Waris Shah, Bulleh Shah, Baba Farid, Shiv Kumar Batalvi and Amrita Pritam, great warriors like Maharaja Ranjit Singh, freedom fighters like Shaheed Bhagat Singh and Shaheed Sukhdev Thapar and great leaders like Dr. Manmohan Singh, has never slept in peace.

We all know about the atrocities of the Mughal emperors who tortured and killed non-Muslims. Punjab was the worst affected. Then, Maharaja Ranjit Singh braved the British armies and made it difficult for them to invade this great land. But, when Punjab fell into the hands of the Britishers, after the demise of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, more brave men took birth to save their motherland. At a time, when the people of India had deep faith in the ideologies of Mahatama Gandhi, a new ideology was shaping in Lyallpur, Punjab. With the rise of Bhagat Singh, the Britishers had no other solution but to hang him. Bhagat Singh was martyred, but his ideologies hold true and are still alive in the hearts of every human.

At one point of time, the Britishers feared that Gandhi‘s popularity was overtaken by that of Bhagat Singh‘s. Bhagat Singh‘s ideology portrayed the real problems faced by the people of the pre-Independence era.

That said, the next big change for Punjab came in 1947..

Labor Party had won the elections in England. Lord Mountbatten, the great-grandson of Queen Victoria, was chosen as the last Viceroy of India. He came with his wife and daughter and lived in the Viceroy House in Delhi. With the tensions between the Congress Party, headed by Nehru, and the Muslim League, headed by Jinnah, rising, a situation of riots became more evident. Lord Mountbatten knew that he would not be able to control the Hindu-Muslim riots. Jinnah was demanding a separate state for the Muslims. Nehru wanted a united India. Mountbatten was worried at the grim situation in Bengal, and then the riots broke.. Almost 5,000 people died in the Bengal riots, just before partition. Mountbatten sent Gandhi to control the mob and pacify them. But it seemed like even the Mahatama could not control the disaster that was unfolding in Bengal.

In the West, Central Punjab, where Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims had lived like families for centuries, now held grudges against each other. Mountbatten sent an army of 60,000 to Punjab, hoping that he will control the situation. But we all know how that turned out..

3

Independence for India was to come in June, 1948. But because of the grim situation heralding, Mountbatten preponed it and decided to hand over the reigns of the ‘two’ countries to their new leaders , in August, 1947. What would have taken 18 months, took just 3 months, because Mountbatten was too fearful to be responsible for the killings that would take place because of the partition..

Sir Cyril Radcliffe was flown in from England to draw the lines on the map of India. The man who had never in his life, set foot on this great land, held the fate of over 88 million people. He started the work in June, 1947, and the Radcliffe line, as it is known now, was released on 17 August, 1947.

It was decided that the total wealth of the government offices will be divided between India and Pakistan, with 80% of the share in India’s hands and 20% of it in Pakistan’s. Property dispute was easier to resolve and everything was divided in the end. But what became a difficult task was the division of people…

On 7 August, Jinnah left his Delhi home and flew to Karachi, bidding adieu to India, forever..

On 14th of August, 1947, Lord Mountbatten flew to Karachi to celebrate the Independence of newly formed Islamic Republic of Pakistan. On the night of 14th August, Delhi was drenched in rain. Despite of this, hundreds of people braved the rain and came to the Constituent Assembly, Delhi, where at the struck of 12 a.m., Nehru took the oath as the first Prime Minister of India.

While Karachi and Delhi were busy in the celebrations of a long fought battle for freedom, Central Punjab was burning.. Yes, on 15th of August, 1947, freedom came. But it was the freedom to loot, the freedom to burn, the freedom to rape, the freedom to murder…

2

Around 4.5 million Hindus and Sikhs came to India and around 6 million Muslims went to Pakistan between August 1947 and March 1948. But the harsh reality remains, that more than 1 million innocent Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims were butchered in cold blood.

It was a mayhem.. Punjab was, once again, the worst affected.

“Freedom is for the educated people who fought for it. We were slaves of the English, now we will be slaves of the educated Indians—or the Pakistanis.”- Khushwant Singh, Train to Pakistan.

It is true that the British lost their biggest asset, India. But Punjabis lost a lot more. They lost their everything; their land, their cattle, their houses, their families, their friends, their business, their lives…

1

“…People were killing their own women. My father took a sword and beheaded my elder sister, Maan Kaur, in front of my eyes. On the upper floor, I could hear my uncles beheading my aunts. None of the women and girls resisted..”– A Sikh refugee from Pakistan..

partition-of-india

“…They cut my father’s body in a hundred pieces. I saw them throwing children into fire. My mother hid me under the dead bodies..”– A young refugee..

The partition of a country is just as painful as the partition of a home. When two brothers divide their father’s home into two parts, both the father and the mother cry.. It was, thus eventual, that the Punjabis mourned this partition..

Who is to blame? Jinnah? Nehru? Gandhi? Mountbatten? Who?

When ties between Jinnah and the Congress party severed, he left India and went to live in London. One night he heard a group of Muslim boys talking about that India should be divided into two parts- India and Pakistan. PAKISTAN. ‘P‘ from Punjab, ‘A‘ from Afghania, ‘K‘ from Kashmir, ‘S‘ from Sindh and ‘TAN‘ from Balochistan. That is how the name Pakistan was minted. But to their surprise, Jinnah rebuked those boys, saying that there was only one good thing the Britishers did in India, and it was to unite the whole country, and they wanted to do away with it? Yes, Jinnah was never a separatist.

But when he returned to India, and joined the Muslim League, Jinnah came to know the reality of Indian Muslims…

“..They (Hindus) wouldn’t let us drink water from the same tap. They would attach a pipe from the tap and tell us to drink water from the other end of the pipe..”– recounts a Muslim refugee of Pakistan..

“..Our mother never allowed us to take meals with our Muslim friends..”– says a Hindu refugee of India..

Once, Jinnah was asked by a group of schoolchildren that why was he pressing for the formation of Pakistan? Why didn’t he want unity? Jinnah went quiet for a while. The kids thought that he didn’t have any answer. Then Jinnah took a glass of water and drank half of it. He then offered the same to the Hindu children. They REFUSED to drink it. He then offered the same to the Muslim children and they drank it. Jinnah replied, “This is why.”.

Punjab Rivers

The land of five rivers was brutally ripped apart. The land where iconic love stories of Heer-Ranjha, Soni-Mahiwal, Laila-Majnu and Mirza-Sahiba, fostered, has forgotten the meaning of love itself.  Punjab has never been at peace since…

Ajj Sabhey ‘Qaido’ Ban Gaye,
Husn Ishq Dey Chor
Ajj Kithon Liyaiye Labh Ke
Waris Shah Ikk Hor…

(Today everyone is, ‘Qaido’
thieves of beauty and ardor
Where can we find, today,
another Warish Shah, once more)

H ❤