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Haldwani-Two poems

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Haldwani – two poems

By Rashme Sehgal


The child is walking, walking through the snow,

Up to the mountain,

Soaked in blood,

No, the mountain remains pure,

It is the child who is soaked in blood,

Blood dripping from his father’s soiled kurta,

Blood dripping from the pine trees,

From the emasculated bodies of the men,

Shot down, felled, one after another,

Feet toppled backwards, returning from work,

Or were they on the street to buy provisions,

Or was it to buy some firewood

To light a pyre,

Blood dripping from the pine trees,

There is not enough firewood

To light funeral pyres of

The so many dead,

For the mountain stands bare,

Bereft of hope,

Dreams today are implemented by a firing squad.

The child is walking,

Walking up the mountain

Dripping blood that leaves a trail in the snow,

The father, bleeding, sobbing, follows him

Like a somnabulist.


Time will end

Some day,

May that day come soon,

To be poor and hungry,

A destitute,

Is to be alive

To watch

My son fade away,

Gasp, taking deep breadths

Before my eyes,

He is taking a solo flight


Before my eyes,

Or so Kabir said

But did he also say,

Dreams must end

On the very day that

Hope gets extinguished.

For I must pick up my flailing arms

My shivering body and move out

From the graveyard to the stormy street

To me met by the vacuous, hate-filled eyes

Of the police.

My son is taking a solo flight

Before my eyes,


(Rashme Sehgal is a senior independent journalist, writer and a poet)

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