Special Powers to Murder?


Safeguarding our crown was their responsibility,

Long back, when that paradise was losing out on peace and stability,

Years after that bloody decade,

When the valley gears up healthy,

Yearns to lick tourism and trade,

Craves attention, gears up to resurrect wealthy,

How did uniformed hatred never grey?

How many more young corpses will grant them content?

Or, does it take one to feast on sacks of religious contempt,

Or, grow brainwashed blind into monsters, death-hungry,

To join this faction of the Army?

Do you hear that lull? Do you hear that guilty silence?

Crouched they sit, count moments for another sin to age,

Consumed is the nation, the youth is diverted dead,

Let the heat sway away, the news grow old, they’ll soon forget,

At times I gaze startled at the brilliance of this government machinery,

Tactful and wise, under curtains of the largest democracy,

Ethnic cleansing wages rampant,

Sanctioned green, invisible behind myths of our secular skin,

Secured and shielded to raze a limping J&K*,

Have you heard of a country where no terror strikes?

Does that mean an entire community and its youth will have to perpetually pay a price?

Unheard flies the mother’s wail,

Here to stay, those black clouds of an obsolete AFSPA*…



Based upon the headlines “Protest erupts in J&K after 2 civilians killed in firing”-  The Indian Express.


http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-02-23/india/37256692_1_return-of-guru-body-anantnag-and-kulgam-curfew) – Protests erupted in Kashmir after the Army allegedly shot dead two civilians in Bandipore district on Sunday morning. The police have registered a murder case against 13 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) of the Army. Though the Army said it will probe the killings, the J&K government said there is “nothing to investigate”

– The Indian Express


*AFSPA– The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), was passed on September 11, 1958, by the Parliament of India. It grants special powers to the armed forces in what the act terms as “disturbed areas” in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura. It was later extended to Jammu and Kashmir as The Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act, 1990 in July 1990.

For more on the act, visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armed_Forces_(Special_Powers)_Act,_1958


*J&K– Jammu and Kashmir, the northernmost state of India.




Image Credits : http://www.movieballa.com

I don’t want to play, I just wish I could walk…


Twelve it is,

Though scratched and peeved,

The broken military watch,

Is still ticking,

Like me it is the only other inheritance of my family,

Our only possession that wasn’t rubbed on to the ground completely,

My grandpa gave it over to my dad,

After a short stint in the Israeli army,

And, since then dad preserved it,

Like he’d taken care of me till now…

It’s a brand new year,

Kids all around the world,

Must have gotten together,

Must be a hell of a time,

To play, to eat, to make merry,

But I don’t want so much,

I know kids in my world are not so lucky,

I don’t want to play,

I just wish I could walk…


I’d seen those jet planes that close for the very first time,

Gripped by their power,

Trembling in that macho sound of theirs,

I thought that manly machine attracted me,

But, before I could think anymore,

The ceiling came down on me,

And, soon my pounding heart,

Caught the pain,

My leg wasn’t there,

I could feel myself only till my knee…

So, now I don’t want to play,

I just wish I could walk…

Crushing on my tool in that Turkish refugee camp,

Resting my aching arms and those crutches,

I miss my dream of playing with my brother,

With all of my family dead,

Now I dream no more,

All I want is to ask friends from that happy world out there,

Did they need my leg that badly?

Only a little makes me happy,

I don’t want to play,

I just wish I could walk…


(Inspired from Joe Sterling’s CNN article, “Uprooted by Syria’s war: ‘Is there a worse way to live than this?’ “,http://edition.cnn.com/2013/01/14/world/meast/syria-refugees/index.html?hpt=wo_c1)


From Rafah’s Football Stadium in the perilous belt of Gaza…


Worn-out players practicing their way into hopelessness,

Demanding our absence,

Threatening us every day,

We’ve to leave soon,

Only to escape dire consequences,

But, I know, and so does my husband,

With eight kids to feed,

We, simply couldn’t go astray,

Rafah’s Football Stadium is our new home,

With my husband and my children,

I dwell in the dressing room,

We just ran out of choice, a few months ago,

No more do we have a place to stay,

A roof to seek shelter under,

Homeless Palestinians with a dim future in Gaza…

Three months ago,

We woke up to the sound of Israeli tanks and bulldozers,

They were looking for tunnels underneath our residences,

Arms were being smuggled in from Egypt,

That was all they had to say,

Within the next five minutes,

Our entire neighborhood stood demolished,

It all happened in front of our eyes,

The kids stood watching,

Those monstrous machines of destruction,

Engulfing their toys, their books, their memories, their childhood,

That night I saw all them unanimously cry,

But, I made sure all of them were safe,

Told them we were fortunate to have escaped unscratched, unhurt,

For, like that little kid with my neighbors,

Got crushed beneath a tumbling wall,

For, like him, many couldn’t turn as lucky…

The stadium dressing room,

Stands segmented with a cloth,

A place to cook, and the other to sit during the day,

The public urinal to wash and bathe,

This is how I’m spending my days,

Awaiting help from Palestinian Authorities,

Eating up our savings bit by bit,

My family now hangs by weary knots of hope…

I often sit by the wall,

And think out ways,

Ideas to fetch a few smiles,

Cheap sweets made on my pan for the kids,

Tits and bits of happiness,

Even in this grim existence of ours,

That’s how we are surviving,

Dwelling in each other,

Trying hard to see my lil’ ones laugh,

Trying hard to accept life…

They say they would soon leave,

Let Palestinians in here live,

Profusely, breathe in, breathe out,

The leftover breath, heal their wounds, die natural deaths,

But, they have been saying the same, since years now,

We no more nurture such hopes,

We are too scared to dream…

Each and every night,

Clinging on to my husband tight,

Resting by the walls of the dressing room,

I feel indebted to the Almighty,

For keeping us alive, for keeping us safe,

For not wiping us away with His death-broom,

We together pray, seek redemption,

For giving birth to our children,

In this century’s hell,

Rafah, a ravaged town cornering the perilous belt of Gaza…


Riding on her beauty to my resurrection…


Through those war-torn streets of Kabul,

I slogged with the Sun almost grilling my back,

‘Please, leave me alone’ was all that I wanted to say,

To those ugly thoughts…I couldn’t bring their pieces together,

Let alone lining down bodies of my friends,

The only ones I knew till now, till my first deportation…

Like a typhoon, the thoughts disappeared,

As my eyes stripped off that momentary slumber,

It opened into the markets of Sheerpur,

It opened up to a nodding head in a Burka.

Her motionless stance engulfed me completely,

I stood there stagnant, already a slave of their desire,


Popping out from her Burka,

The stare said it clear, “Can you protect me soldier for they say a woman seldom needs a gun, as she always has a man by her side as her shield, and her strongest weapon.

If you really can, take me away,

Take me New York, take me to London, take me to Spain.”

The rays of the setting Sun lit up my face,

Without a permission from my cerebrum,

My legs were on their way,

Suddenly, I was feeling more of a man,

More than I ever felt confirming the enemy dead,

Happiness was knocking at my door,

And I could hear the Almighty say,

“You live to make merry and gracefully accept your end, the rest is my business,

I guess now you know your road,

Beauty fetched you a resurrection amidst this destruction,

For your soul stands worthy of companionship, your calling’s far away in peace, far away from this deadly episode”



Debaroon’ 2012

Shredding away innocence in Pakistan’s Darra Adam Khel


There sat my father,

Bearded, in his Kameez,

Blowing up his chest,

Filling it with pride,

He saw his son confidently recall the gun’s name, “Smith and Wesson 9mm”,

Pull the trigger,

Causing a bang that echoed from the red walls of the Hindu-Kush mountains,

“.30 bore, Chinese made”, the words followed the next,

Every day, each morning, he sought pleasure from his son’s knowledge of firearms,

Patted his own back for baking that eleven-year-old in gunpowder…

Startled! Aren’t you?

I have never stepped out of my town, Darra Adam Khel,

Locked, since birth in my world of guns in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province,

So I don’t know how your world is?

How are children of my age in there?

But, today I will let you have a peep into this strange world of mine,

Where I have no one to understand, no one to help me out,

Decades in the gun-making business,

My father wants me to live, eat and breather guns,

He said, “Guns made men”, I failed to understand, how,

I wonder if you have ever come across a parent like this in your world,

Nurturing his son to turn out to be the best,

In the world’s largest illegal gun market,                              _41762134_guns2_203

Right here, on the main road to Kohat, in my Pashtun town,

Our lifeline, our only source of bread,

Even grandma says, “Your father loves you, he cares for you,

For you, he wants the best,”

Best? This was it…

Like you, I hardly can enjoy the luxury of a choice,

My fate as my grandma adds, lies in my father’s hands,

I’m locked behind bars of his dreams,

To sit back and smoke the purest grade of hashish,

Blessings for being able to have turned his son,

Into one of the finest amongst Darra Adam Khel’s ‘Bearded Engineers of Death’…



(for more on the same, refer Son of a Lion, a 2007 Australian-Pakistani drama film, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Son_of_a_Lion)

From Sarajevo, He played on…


Surrendering himself to the Sun,

Now gleaming through craters in the temple of Bosnian literature,

Balancing his cello on one those bombed blocks of Austro-Hungarian history,

He played on…

A graveyard resembling the grandeur of Moorish-Mamluk architecture,

A graveyard of 3000 manuscripts, 6000 periodic titles,

Of evidence against Bosnia’s multi-ethnic history,

On the heap of charred Orientalist Pseudo-Moorish remains,

He played on…

Out of the Sarajevo Opera Orchestra,

Affected by the sight of mortar-shell grasping twenty-two souls at a go,

Innocents of Sarajevo, waiting for relief, food and nowhere to go,

Shell-shocked, from the annihilated National Library of Bosnia,

He played on…

Sarajevo was torn apart,

Cleansed of its inherent Muslims,

On tunes of his cello, destruction danced ceaselessly, for twenty days,

He played on…

Flames reflected on his cello’s shiny ebony,

On it shone, both faces of man,

While one sunk in notes of melancholy,

The other was sunk in war, sunk in gore,

On tunes of the cellist, rolled on the carnage, it sought harmony,

Seated up against snipers,

He played on…

He played on to mourn his loves ones,

He played on for you to take notice,

He played on for Sarajevo’s future,

As if serving a uniform live funeral to thousands of his unfortunate countrymen,

He played on…


(Based on Vedran Smailović’s performance from the National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Siege of Sarajevo’1992 ; Steven Galloway’s ‘The Cellist of Sarajevo’)