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Mainstream, Vol XLVI No 28

Nikhil at the Gates

Monday 30 June 2008, by Syeda Hameed

These times when life’s mad rush
- Overtakes our days, inverts our rights
- Your memory places a soothing palm
- On my fevered brow.

I recall
- You walking slowly
- To light a candle at the last post
- Separating India from Pakistan.

I recall
- You watching with bemused disdain
- Hate filled postures, martial clip clop
- Of Pakistan Rangers and Border Security Force.

I piece together the rest.

Returning to your room late at night
- You lift your ink-filled pen
- Recalling Faiz, a poet, comrade, friend
- Who dipped his fingers in heart’s welling blood
- To write his verse
- When might had sealed his tongue.

Into the deepening night
- You write the story of South Asia
- Fragmented tale of warring siblings
- A tasty morsel for the mighty powers.

Admonishing words, loving chidings
- Words and words unfurl on empty pages.

A decade later while South Asia churns
- Your words
- Torch light our perilous path.

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