It is a poem that brought me to this country by Anupama Raju

It is a poem that brought me to this country,

a map of rough words, a field of empty seeds.

The first line threw me into a well

of floating foetuses, limbs and two-finger test kits.

I could not breathe.

India is my country and all

Indians are my brothers and sisters.

The second line was kind, pulled me out

in a town where

trees waited for men

men waited for night

women gathered to fight.

I could not breathe.

I love my country and I am proud of its

rich and varied heritage.I shall always

strive to be worthy of it.

The third line flew me over a village where

snakes drank white rivers

hissed at unfaithful gods

and babies slept rocking

to heady songs.

I could not sleep.

I shall give my parents, teachers and all elders respect and treat everyone with courtesy.

The fourth line drove me to a mall

of glass fantasies, debris and discounts

where families shopped on delusional credit

Money can buy you love, they said

as they dropped dead.

I did not say goodbye.

To my country and my people,

I pledge my devotion. In their well-being and prosperity alone, lies my happiness.

he fifth line alone knew where I could lie

so it took me to the city that was lost

to hired demonstrators, aging monarchs and migrant labourers.

It is a poem that brought me to this country:

a bench in Gandhi park at East Fort

I could finally die.

– Anupama Raju

(As read in The Hindu, Aug 02, 2014)


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