Thursday, December 18, 2008

Do Not Wear the Shroud of Fear

I have no words to speak against terror.
They explode within my throat,
Like dynamite unplugged,
Like a grenade
With the pin removed.

What words can I say against terror?
I have already said a lot
Cry a red tear, I have said
Filled with the blood of loss
Loss of loved ones
Loss of freedom and liberty
What use this democracy?
If we stumble on the streets.
Like wounded dogs.
Wearing the shroud of fear
Cowering like hunted animals
For no wrong done?
Being held hostage by fidayeen
At the other end of the gun.
Being probed by media,
Exposed and questioned,
Even as we mourn our loved one?
In parks, temples, hotels, trains
We have not chosen this sudden death
Our bodies scream in pain.
Do I need words against terror then?

The lighting of candles is not enough, we need to be tough.
Shine a strong light on closed, sleeping eyes
Strike out, move and take a stand for broken lives
Together, fight the terror.
It is a time for action, the time for words is over.

I have no words against terror.
My throat is dry, it burns.
My eyes are wet.
My land and people should not be bled.
Throttle terror; ask the world to join us
Far and hatred will not confine us.

I can speak then, once again, with words.
Just now, its simply pain that screams to be heard.
A chain saw grating to sever a limb
Constant, constant.

(c) ABHA IYENGAR, 5th December 2008
Recited at Kamala Nehru College, Delhi University 'Words Agáinst Terror' meet of writers and poets, 12th December 2008.

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