These times
And the bling of the Times square
In a distant land

Do you remember the square
Made of cement at Ganga Dhaba
Squares and more squares
Spots of chai and evolution
And a promised revolution?

Do you remember the nights
That ghost of a man
Sitting on that square stone
and managing his square meals
Somehow?

Managing his meals
Over alimony
Yes alimony
From
Those he hurled abuses at
Those he told stories to
Those he sang his songs to.
Married to a dream
And all those within that dream
That there’ll be a red flag on the red fort

Some say he was right
(Some say that was wrong)
He died
Protesting
Singing a song
The memory of this ghost is stagnant
Square stone, astute abuses, seething song

I remember it a bit
Do you remember any
Of it?

The memory is a moment
But very long
The memory is stagnant and pregnant
With wretched ghosts’ cries.
What falls
Will also someday
rise.

 

Vidrohi died on December 8, 2015, after living on for 30 years in Jawaharlal Nehru University, sleeping in the open, and making the dhabas and rocks of the university his itinerant home, after been told by the administration, during his rustication, he was not allowed in the campus.

 

Amit Ranjan

Amit Ranjan

Amit Ranjan is a Fulbright scholar for 2015-16 at Florida International University. He has also been a recipient of Endeavour and Inlaks scholarships. He has held the honorary position of Australia Awards Ambassador in India, and teaches English literature at New Delhi. His research on John Lang, a 19th century Australian writer, lawyer and journalist, is going to be published soon as a book. His other non-fiction book about shared histories of Australia and India, Who the Duck is Alice, is to be released next year. He has a deep and abiding interest in Sufi music and literature.

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