Hammer and the anvil

Can anyone feel like a tenant at home?

I’ve been spat on, beaten, abused like I was a curse.

Always felt like I was under debt.

I had a pendulum clock in my dorm. It used to sneer at 5 in the morning.

At an age of fuming at a cricket ground, I used to cram those amber-tinted diary pages.

With my peers (teased as aliens), we used to go to the library. Mornings were normally quiet and free from taunts.

The food I ate seemed like a favor and not just a token of unconditional love.

“Are you Indian? You eat snakes, frogs, live in filth?”- my beloved countrymen sing to me.

All I needed to hear was “We won’t hear your cries? We’ve chosen to be deaf and blind.”

My shirt would be pulled, arms twisted,neck grabbed if I ever took on their foul play.

Nobody would feel the same unless they have been devoid as well.

There’s a more pronounced attack lately with the pandemic. “Chinki”, “Momo” was a casual slur until “Corona jumped into the equation.

This pandemic saw me through fictitious relationships. Those pitiful stares got me certain.

The best I do is think of the hills back home who’d sing a “Zeliang” lullaby every night.

Someone’s got to be watching over me.

I feel ghosts are watching over us saying “Nowhere to run. Come up, it’s peaceful here”.

Every morning, a walk to the school became my march for freedom.

Once on a metro, two seats to my left were reserved for women and handicapped, where some men were sitting. I was at the third seat, still got rebuked to give it away.     

I don’t want to beg for kindness. I’ve heard, ” To be loved, you must provide”.

People would ask, “Have you ever tried human meat?” I mean why, just because I’m a Naga?

I started writing. It’s an armor sans an overriding lust for recognition.

I started working as an actor. Best role I landed was of a tea stall owner.

I’d keep pushing. I’m getting thick-skinned to favoritism.

Amidst recurrent desecration, I felt obligated to art. So I pushed further.

This conflict has engendered a new vision in me.

As time lapsed, people kind of developed a new set of eyes. They started calling me by my name.

The daily scuffles shudder me so badly that I wanna drop the pen.

I have thought of quitting but then my story would meet the same fate as many before: Destroyed.

Nevertheless, my voice won’t muffle under the clamor of noises.

Time has come for privileged to pass on the mic to marginalized. 

However worse it becomes, I won’t renounce the ties.

Though I get dodged in the name of national integration, I won’t ever renounce my motherland.

Beyond words, my desolation creeps silently into my art. 

Beyond words, in a silent holocaust, I stand alone with my shadow, singing songs of freedom.

Between a hammer and the anvil, should I give up dreaming?

What we have now is not what we dreamt for.

My poetic intercourse shall strike numb chords someday.

Perhaps someday, my story shall become a lullaby for the ghosts up there.

4 thoughts on “Hammer and the anvil

  1. The reflection hinges on almost every small thing we face as Indians, the emotions, racial slurs or feeling. How you experimented with the reality and absolutely brilliant, Samyak.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Vishal. Really appreciate your insights ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

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