A grey childhood

That was the day
When my childhood
had seen the last rays of the sun
And that was the night
which buried my childhood
in the depth of darkness.
Today when my grandchildren
are playing patriotic songs
in high volume
wearing orange white & green dresses
my mind has become
the tape recorder
replaying the cassette of
that dreadful day &
nonplus night
And the photometry
of those eerie events
is flashing before
my eighty-five-year-old eyes
making them feel more helpless.

The clock was ticking at twelve
and maa was shouting at me
to have lunch,
but her voice
had no power
to make me run inside
and to stop me
from playing with my best friend Zarina
in the courtyard of our house
that red-bricked house
which was the tallest among
all the houses in our village.
My father who used to
call meetings often
& solve many disputes
on a cool note
was looking tensed that day
The sweats on his forehead
was completely in sync
with the anticipation in his voice
The paleness in the faces
of other villagers
were telling the tale
of some kind of anxiety
The discussion was sounding heavy
without any halt
like that of the atmosphere
during listening to a thriller
and forecasting the next twist.
Suddenly everyone got muted
when the radio started blaring
“India has been partitioned
into two nations.
Some parts of Punjab & Bengal
will fall in Pakistan.”
Although unable to understand anything
the eight-year-old kid in me
assumed everything
from the talks of the elders
that I was not going
play with Zarina again.
That evening,
the pond near our field
where I used to swim
bid me a goodbye
the banyan tree
in which I used to swing
was looking at me with teary eyes
until along with other elders
I disappeared from the land
which taught me to laugh while crying
to speak while fumbling
to walk while stumbling.
The refugee camp of Amritsar
became our destination
compelling us to begin our journey
in the path of uncertainty
tearing the darkness of night.
Maa, nani, chachi, didi
were walking slow
wearing the weight of
coins & jewellery stitched
in their blouses & petticoats
Papa, nanaji, chacha & bhai
were forwarding fast
being loaded with
swords & machetes.
Suddenly the sound of screams
penetrated my ears
and my eyes got stuck on
a gang of hooligans
approaching towards us
like a swarm of bees.
Before I could think anything
my mind became a black hole
listening to the shrill sound
emanating from nanaji’s mouth,
seeing the separated heads of people
who used to bring me candies
who used to feed me in their hands
who used to carry me on their shoulders
who used to squeeze my cheeks
to whom I used to meet daily
to whom I was listening a moment back.
Before that black hole in my mind
could have got filled with any thought
my ears heard some footsteps
coming closer
Imagining myself
being killed
those barbarous ruffians
I shivered inside,
but controlled my body.
I laid on the ground like dead
until those goons returned back
considering me dead
I was breathing faintly,
Faint enough to wake up
Waking up had no purpose
for me then
The child inside me was dead
Dead because there was none alive
who would pamper me like a child
The matured woman in me
bloomed that night at the age of ten
whose childhood was snatched away
in the soil smudged with
the blood
of her beloved ones…

Bowing down before those brave souls because of whom today we are celebrating “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav”🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳🇮🇳

But we can never feel the pain of those who lost some precious parts of their lives due to the migration during partition of India. They may not feel the same excitement that we feel on 15th August. Because freedom is a word for which they have paid a price, immeasurable.


8 thoughts on “A grey childhood

  1. Truly Sad Dear Ruchi When Childhood
    FRiEnDS Are Separated By Divisions
    of Religion and Politics
    And Even Sadder

    Perhaps Even Family
    And Civil Wars in

    One Household
    Over Politics and
    Religion in Competition
    For Divide And Conquer
    Over Unity And Cooperation

    Yet This is the Nature of the ‘Human
    Beast’ Really Only Evolved Still Relatively
    Speaking For 150 or So Close Contacts in

    Social Way to Give, Share, Care, And Heal
    in Bonding Binding Ways of Dance And Song
    With Symbols And Ideologies Folks Will Actually

    Mutually And
    Agree Upon for
    Loving Peace Yes

    Goodness Hehe Just
    An Every Day Challenge
    in Every Household Among
    A Couple And Even When One Goes
    Solo in Life As Civil Wars Occur in Separation
    of So-Called Mechanical Cognition Versus Social-
    Empathic-Artistic-Real Emotional Sensory Spiritual Intelligences

    at Much Bigger
    Picture Mystical
    Ways of Unity Versus

    Breaking Down the
    Whole into Tiny Parts
    And Losing The All In All

    In Grasping Tiny Parts Of Existence Refusing to Let Go Yes STiLL

    In Literal/Metaphorical Left Hemisphere And Right Hemisphere
    Differences of Mind In Processing And Doing Existence

    True Mind and Body and Soul And Country
    And Religion And Politics Does Often Find
    This Challenge in Life as It’s True the Human

    Species Woefully Lives Out of Balance with the Rest
    of Nature Now Killing Off 50 Percent of Wild Life in the
    Last 50 Years With Projected Losses of 1 IN 8 Animal
    And Plant Species in the Coming Decades For the Civil

    War That the Human Species Declares to Dominate the Rest of Nature

    Yet Of Course the Whole of Nature is Our Face the Same Making A Civil

    War With Nature

    Is A Real New Zombie

    Apocalypse Now Of
    Eating Our Own Face

    The Blood Bath and
    Whole Extinctions of
    Species is For Real in A
    Civil War We’ve Declared in
    Ignorance That Harms, Rapes, Maims,
    And Kills All Of Nature Including Us the Most

    THere Are FolkS iN the United States Who Long
    For the Kind of Blood Bath That Happened in India
    Separating into Two Countries in 1947 And The Years
    And Decades That Follow With Conflicts Still Occurring

    Of Course the United States Has Done it Before too in Civil War

    This Experiment for A Declaration of Independence for the Rights
    to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness is Surely Not Without its
    Flaws in A Country That Uses 40 Percent of the Human Resources of the
    Earth With 4 Percent of the Human Population Globe-Wide With Close to
    40 Percent of Pandemic Deaths World-Wide too Well Over A Million Dead Here

    From Just That in a Real Civil War of Ignorance too mY FRiEnD And Of Course
    Close to 40 Percent of Mass Shooting Deaths With So Many Hundreds of Millions of

    Guns to Assist in that Blood Bath of Ignorance too Other Countries Want the Abundance

    We Have Although it Would Take 5 Earths in Resources to Provide That Abundance For
    All And True i Know Indian Women Who Spend Close to A Decade of Their Life Still Now in

    To Come to
    What’s Left of
    This American Dream

    Yep i’ve Mastered that
    Freedom for me LIke my
    Wife, Sister And Her Partner too

    Yet the Poverty of the Soul Within
    is Great Here my FRiEnD Obviously
    As The Friendliest People i Meet are
    From India It seems Women of Course
    As Women Are Just More Agreeable in General ThiS Way

    Yes i’m Glad This Poem Wasn’t About You and Your Friend
    And Your Family Now Yet Of Course It’s About All of Us mY FRiEnD

    And the Effort it Takes All of us to Cooperate in Unity Versus Divide and Conquer

    Any Marriage That is Gonna BE A Real Love Requires Unity of Cooperation Like

    Any Church,
    State, Yes

    of Politics too mY FRiEnD

    It’s All Culture And We Humans
    Are the Nature of This Beast We

    Move, Connect, And Co-Create Dancing Singing Freer

    Standing Together Stronger or Separate and Weaker

    Thanks For A Very Inspiring Poem It Really Fits into
    What i am Writing New About Always Now For What i am
    Dancing And Singing Free All About Peace Love Cooperation

    MaKinG Unity

    Yet It Always
    Starts New With
    A Challenge Now of
    Unity of Peace And
    Love Within First mY FRiEnD..:)

    Liked by 1 person

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