Counter-Narrative Against Hindutva Terror: A ghazalesqueIf it’s time to give up, let us then live with lies and love.
Already the system’s killing us with lies and no love.
Our dreams are in the slaughterhouse; hope is a joke.
Do we still want hearts to sing, in surprise and love?
This distance we suffer, dear jaan, it’s not just the map.
In a country of bhagwa terror, our desire flies and love.
I remember the times we promised faith to each other.
How’d I know there’s no difference between guiles and love?
The fascists are at the doorstep. I hear their battle cry.
In these dark times, mere yaar, we have lots to surmise and love.
You quoted Meeraji, I quoted Plath — ah sweet madness!
Passion won hands down: we went home with this prize and love.
I tried becoming honey in your veins. Gave you my tongue.
Yet there’s poison around: Sanghis against sighs and love.
“Emotion is a disease,” you said. I’ll lie sick each time it infects!
And I’ll contaminate gladly! We need more allies and in love.
Fade out all noise, switch off fake news channels. Now!
Your yaar has just called, Navi. This is the time to rise and love.
Nabina Das is the author of five books — poetry collections Sanskarnama, Into the Migrant City, and Blue Vessel; short fiction volume titled The House of Twining Roses, and Footprints in the Bajra, a novel. She’s a Charles Wallace, Sangam House, and Sahapedia-UNESCO fellowship alumna, and an MFA from Rutgers-Camden. Published widely, Nabina is a NYS Summer Writers Conference alumna, a 2016 Commonwealth Writers correspondent, a journalist by training, and a Creative Writing teacher in university classrooms and workshops. Nabina has coedited 40 Under 40: An Anthology of Post-Globalisation (Poetrywala), and is most recently the editor of Witness: Poetry of Dissent (Red River). Her new poetry collection Anima and the Narrative Limits is forthcoming from Yoda Press.
Banner: “The Rain”. Digital Art by Robert Frede Kenter (c) (2021). Twitter: @frede_kenter