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Mainstream, VOL LVI No 38 New Delhi September 8, 2018

Who Am I ?

Sunday 9 September 2018

I’ve lived here for a long time,
breathing its air, walking on its soil,
building up my life,
becoming a part of the neighbourhood—
a sense of being inseparable
embedded in my consciousness.

Now I’m told I don’t belong here;
my name does not figure
in a list prepared to find the ‘indigenous’.
Where will I go, if I fail to prove
my long forgotten ‘credentials’?
Is it to head towards deportation?

Uncertain future looms large:
stamped being an immigrant, huddled
in a concentration camp
with prospect of nowhere to go,
not being acceptable anywhere
floating like a permanent ‘stateless’.

The Bard of the East perhaps turns
in his grave, wondering
what has happened to his Bharat,
the place of pilgrimage
of all those coming here from outside
to take part in the coronation of Mother!

A.K. Das

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