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Where Are You?
By Hardeep Sabharwal
Often he sends the pictures of his friends and relatives,
With a caption like this, "In Australia", "In Canada", "In Paris", "In UK",
And wonders, where are you?
Al-beruni once said, "Indian knows nothing about history, and when they are forcefully asked to tell,
They start narrating the stories of mythology."
In the same way, my replies to his messages, have nothing to do with, "Where I am!"
Exhausted he writes, "mks", to tease me,
And said, these are the three words, which a low class fellow said about me and two of them are revile, and offers five hundred bucks,
If I tell?
I know these words. But I will not reply as I know he is not going give me five hundred,
Though he is the only person in this world who can give me one lakh without asking once, "when will you return?",
Instead I write "jmr" to take my revenge and utter a heavy revile for that black class fellow.
When my father told me about his distant cousin's son's newly built bungalow,
I start telling about how British Empire looted the wealth of India
And made Indian system corrupt,
As if it was the only reason behind the shabyness of furniture in my house.
When my daughter hugs me and asks, where we will celebrate my coming birthday,
I smile to see my face in the mirror and touch some colorless hairs.
My wife suggests I should dye my hairs which are losing their color,
But I told her about my aunt, who failed in class eight and started weeping in front of notice board,
And her principal said, "Now nothing can be done Luxmi Kaur."
Now nothing can be done, and I am going to be forty this year, I thought
Only when my sister visits and I say to her, half of your life is ruined if you are born in a country like this,
"Better we are not born in Afghanistan or Somalia," she laughs.
Next time when someone asks me,
"Where are you?"
It would be natural if I say, I can be anywhere in masses of third world,
Who want to live the life as life,
On the ship to Canada, the Koma-Gata-Maru,
Anyone of those who are killed at Mexico US border for trespassing,
An illegal migrant from sub sahara countries,
A south Asian nurse facing sexual exploitation in Gulf,
On Malta migrants shipwreck,
Like a kid from Syria, who didn't know the meaning of even migration,
Or all those people trafficking themselves,
In the words Liberty, Equality and Fraternity,
And searching these words out somewhere,
Here I am.