Thursday, July 30, 2009


Smoke, sounds, chaos;
Do you see the killer
Crouching amongst the crowd?
Do you see the pain,
The horror, the death,
The rivers of blood and gore?
Do you see the bomber
Crouching before he runs?
Do you see the flames
Rising sky-high?

I am in a barber shop,
The regular friendly neighbourhood guy;
The picture of the Kaabah
In front of me.
A guy comes in;
“Assalaam alekum”
Why this sudden
Sense of unease in me?
Why this fear?
He wears the same clothes that I do
He breathes the same air,
Walks the same ground,
He speaks the same language;
Then why this apprehension?

Barricades at street crossings;
Sand bunkers
(Did I think for a moment
We were at war?)
The men with the guns
Marching in uniform-
Fearing the enemy
Or the demon inside us all?

Why are minds polarized?
Why is the battle of the mind
Often the hardest one?
Terror flows not from the barrel of the gun
But from the cranial vault of the mind.

(Written in the aftermath of the deadly Delhi blasts and the Mumbai terror attack in 2008 ;the poem does not seek to express prejudice against any community- I have just tried to outline the fact that terror flows from misplaced emotions rather than from guns or bombs)

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