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Celebrate,
Celebrate the Independence Day
While Munch-like screams explode
Like fireworks lighting the night sky

Silent, vociferous, full of angst
Unable to speak
Bleak, bleak, bleak.

Oh, the cruelty of life!
The anger and strife
Guernica revisited each time.

This is not just about soldiers who die.
But about all those who silently cry
For a dozen different whys?

A young girl raped and killed
By eight men who jubilate
And God silently watched—

As in His temple He stood witness to the desecration
Of innocence lost —
Mutilated, annihilated, destroyed, bludgeoned.

Of a life finished —
in Pain, in Agony, in Shame.

And the men, what happened to them?

A sixteen-year-old still has to get water from a well
in a world where Homo Deus will be cured off death.
Then Three, the Three men set her aflame

Three were the number of men who travelled from far
Bearing gifts for a baby in a crib

Hindu, Muslim, Jew, Christian, Buddhist, Parsee, Sikh —
Does any faith ask you to annihilate and break?

Take what men can never grant — Life?

And the men, what happened to them?

Saffron the colour of sacrifice.
Green the colour of life
Bonded by the purity of white.

Blood spattered now it lies

And the men what happened to them?

Mitali Chakravarty’s poetry has appeared as part of two anthologies, ‘In Reverie’ (2016) and ‘An Anthology of Indian Poetry in English’ (1984). She has published a humorous book of essays on living in China where she spent eight years, ‘In the Land of Dragons’ (2014); translated a short story, ‘Full Circle’, by the erstwhile Nabendu Ghosh, a Bengali writer and Bollywood scriptwriter, which was published in a collection called ‘That Bird Called Happiness ‘(2018). She had numerous bylines in The Times of India, Hindustan Times and The Statesman in the 1980s up to 1992. She has been reviewing books, and writing essays for kitaab.org from 2017. This April, she joined kitaab.org as the editor. She blogs at 432m.wordpress.com. She is working on her first two novels and  translating another novella by Nabendu Ghosh from Bengali to English.


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