Me and My Friend Across this Nation

Me and my friends
we gonna travel across this nation
through its railway tracks
that lead to Godhra, to kashmir,
to Kanya Kumari,
to all the temples of gods.
we gonna go in beat way
sipping rum and smoking grass
with sweat and blood fighting for seats
with rucksacks full of untold stories.

If they ask what are we seeking for
"we are seeking the paper where the Indian Constitution exists
to write our parts as they have missed out us
we are seeking a community which doesn't want to stay free
we are seeking the poetry of travelling
and the mystery of one India
we are seeking the costliest death in the country."

we gonna walk across this nation
to see the children of this nation
sing national anthem.
we sang the anthem till class five
till then our mouths were shut by red flags and stars
now our mouths are again locked by AFSPA
that is why poetry is our soul.
what else we can dream of when our voices died
in the murmurs of corrupt leaders under their tables
what else we can cry for
when crying becomes breathing

we will sing in every Indian universities
we will stay ugly and dirty in every city
we will exchange arrows of love and hatred
between cities and our poetry.
In the streets
we gonna sing with the beggars;
“I am a widow
my child is sick
I am a widow
my husband is sick
Saheb! My sister is in pain
give us a lift
or give me auto fare to hospital
Saheb! I am very hungry
Sir! I am very hungry
feed me some food
give me something
kuch to de-de Saheb!”

we will run across the fields of Kerala with the farmers
chasing the dragonflies and singing ;
"aadhi ellallo andham ellallo
ula kaalam poy aa yugathil
theyya rayyam theyya rayyam taka
theyyaram theyyaram theyya rayyam "

we will meet my Mallu friend who lost his virginity
while sliding down from a tall and slim coconut tree
Oh we must name the coconut tree 'Virginometer';
a machine that checks male virginity.
We will climb one by one to check our status
we will call out the priests, the monks too.

We will sit in coffee house of Kolkotta
listening to Ranbindra Sangeet,
Smoking bidi like the Hungryalist Poets
but never we will write like Malay Roy Choudhary.
we dont want to be jailed for poetry
all we want is to meet India
in the west in the east
in the north in the south.

We gonna jump naked into Triveni Sangum
with Naga Sadhus stoned with lord Shiva's Grass.
we gonna love India till it slaps again
and throw us back into Imphal River

we gonna walk into the houses of the 10,000 villagers
who fled after Salwa Judum.
we gonna see “Can poverty survive in the houses of emptiness?
Or are there poetry budding out of the haunting huts?”

With the immigrant fish sellers from Bangladesh
we gonna live in slums where evening scenes often look like
colourful picture in moral science books
with children and stray dogs playing,
with folks squatting by the hand pumps,
with women in blouse washing the dirty of this nation
at Dhobi Ghats.

We are going to carve our poetry with blood
on the frozen surface of Dal Lake
So when the first ray of summer sun arrives
it evaporates the phrase like "Operation Blue Bird" in air
like a bird breaking free out of cage
and flying around the world
to shit upon the statue of Liberty

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