Tamas — darkness. Milkha running. Garam Hawa.
The Constitution etched in dark
Nandalal ink, for all time to come,
While a kilometre away, blood was being shed, Yamuna red.

Sacred Games — played blood red.
A midnight escape. A lonely car
Wading without headlight. What happened next, left unsaid.
Brother loses brother. One of them loved cricket.
A solitary train, drenched — in corpses, a death train —
Amritsar to Lahore, the journey back — never home.

You belong — here or there — never in-between, never in both camps.
Toba Tek Singh — a foot in each — till he found his mind
Speaking lucid, in a language no one else knew, a language beyond the mind’s borders.
And brave Mozel — undaunted by curfews and broken love, walks on…
Manto too left on a long journey, all the way, from his beloved Bombay to the other side,
Karachi, Lahore, only to die there, of a broken spirit.
Manto said he made up his mind to leave — when a friend told him —
‘I too would not know —
What I would do…’
Even with his friend Manto — if, one bitter evening…if it came to that.

And Gandhi, old with reason, fasting, in Noakhali: stop the carnage.
While Radcliffe draws a thin blood line, across a common heart.
And no one listened, no one listens, even now,

To the rains pattering, like a history lesson.


Amlanjyoti Goswami

Amlanjyoti Goswami

Amlanjyoti Goswami’s poems have appeared in publications in India, Nepal, UK, South Africa, Kenya and USA, including the recent Forty under Forty: an Anthology of Post-Globalisation Poetry (Poetrywala, 2016). He grew up in Guwahati, Assam and lives in Delhi.