Rest in Peace, Humanity
We are blinded. We are broken. We are apathetic. We have failed. We have lost. We are lost. Are we human?
Yet again, we have failed as a country, as humankind. Asifa and Unnao have just reignited this discourse, that had gone dormant for the longest time. How do we live with ourselves after knowing people like us, you and me, are capable of something so heinous? How do we live at all?
father’s name: Ajay Mehra
mother’s name: doesn’t matter
generally, I am used to filling out these forms
mechanically since childhood
that have generalised everything.
making us think that is okay to be answering these questions,
defining who we are in checkboxes that are supposed to be filled
with just black or blue ink in capital letters
making us think it is okay to not look beyond the black and blue,
and see the red signs in capital begging some of us to leave those boxes empty.
these general forms have generalised it being okay to exist
if you are a Hindu of the general category,
that is okay if I am Abha and not Asifa, or ana or Amardeep or Aarzoo
that is okay if I am Mehra and not Mirza, or McKenzie, or Manku or Millerwala
that is okay if I am female wearing a blanket of Hindu general Indian nationalist
with my father’s name resting under and between mine, all set to arm me if
I get into trouble.
but are we not already in trouble?
in deep shit that we are okay with things not being okay,
that our sensitivity is the autumn and spring we never see,
but have heard so much about.
that our romantic notions of what culture is not romance on rose petals,
but wake me up with the sight of burning buses, bandh ka elan,
our romance with religion looks like stone pelting the fragile egos that we
handle with more care than we handle humanity.
we have been lied to all our lives,
our perception of society is a hoax,
our beliefs are beautifully fabricated by blind people,
people blinded by saffron and green,
people blinded by the black and the blue,
every time they say toot ta taara dekh mannat maango,
I wish for us to wake up colour blind,
shaayad fir kesari laal nahi banega
shaayad fir haraa laal mei nahi bahega,
shaayad fir tum samjhoge ki yeh jung dharm mitaane ki nahi,
dharm humei na mitaa de uske liye hai ladi ja rahi hai.
aur isse pehle ek aur maa roye, ek aur pita toot jaaye, ek aur jaan jaaye,
humei sambhalne ki zaroorat hai.
the fire station has been called,
that this world is burning down,
and we need to be saved,
we need to be saved,
we need to be saved as we ignite this house on fire,
burning our souls,
burning each other,
burning everything except this deranged sense of entitlement,
irrespective of how many times we choose to chant,
bharat mata ki jay, bharat mata ki jay, bharat mata ki jay,
mata wouldn’t smile, because she has been long weeping now.
she is tired of bones, flesh and wood burning down in ashes on her body,
she is tired of ripping her chest open and making space for untimely loss,
her children are not bhagwaan ka roop,
she is almost convinced that upar koi hai hi nahi,
aur kaha se aayega woh vishwas,
kaha se laaye woh yeh pyaar
jab humne zameen ke upar rehte insaaniyat ko itna neeche dhhas diya uske seene mei
ke usse ghootan si hone lagi hai.
mujhe ghootan si hone lagi hai,
ab ek aur asifa yu goom hui toh khoon aankho se beh padega.
now every time I fill out those forms and look at those boxes,
I see dead bodies of little girls,
of little boys,
of grown-ups with tired eyes and brittle fingers,
and I want to bury all those bodies,
but I don’t,
because they still hold onto signs of help in capital letters,
and their red has turned into black and blue;
they are black and blue.