The Blog of Cafe Dissensus Magazine – we DISSENT

Poems: Kathua and Unnao

Photo: The Print

By Ananya S. Guha 


Kathua and Unnao
I had never heard (of).
what made you timeless
two little girls or
five or six demented men?
or an entire country
seething with loss, shame
walking the streets
lighting candle
going mad beyond despair?

Kathua and Unnao
where do the Gods live
in the chambers of heart?
then why is mine lacerated
as I see the picture of a sweet
fair-complexioned eight-year-old?
where is her caravan?
are her horses dead?
they said she was a nomad,
where is she wandering now?

And her killers, her killers
are they too wandering
or pimping in the temple
aflame with blood?

Come let me write your histories
and the histories of the two girls
and one father whose blue red
torso also made history
as they came down heavily
on it to only see a nation
flabbergasted writhing in pain.

The anger nor the pain will
settle down, nor history
as Asifa’s time-warped, blood-sodden face
is hidden under the blue skies
of Kashmir.

And a gypsy in caravan,
sedated in wanderlust.


With every rape, murder,
with every cow slaughter,
I’m learning
what is murder.
I’m learning new names,
new places,
dwindling faces,
Unnao, Kathua, Bakerwal,
a nomadic tribe,
the word after all is a jibe.
I’m learning about blood
washed and dried,
those in prison and tried.
I’m learning about caste, class
and power, how they are used
and how people cower.
I’m learning about law and justice
not guilty till proven.
something moved
within my bones when I saw faces,
who have to be proved that they did
what they did not, or did not what they did.

I’m learning to hold back tears,
hold them back,
alas my fears
that they turn into blood!

Ananya S Guha 
is Regional Director, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), Shillong.


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Cafe Dissensus Everyday is the blog of Cafe Dissensus magazine, based in New York City, USA. All materials on the site are protected under Creative Commons License.


Read the latest issue of Cafe Dissensus Magazine on ‘The importance of being a flaneur today’, edited by Maitreyee B Chowdhury, author, Bangalore India.

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