The Blog of Cafe Dissensus Magazine – we DISSENT

Poem: Where is Eid?

Photo: The Indian Express

By Imtiyaz Assad

Where is Eid?
Go to our over-inflated graveyard,
The aroma of incense sticks
From my son’s fresh grave
Wafts across the courtyard
Of our home and asks:
Eid is for the happy ones,
Are you happy Mom?
Can there be Eid for the bereaved?

Where is Eid?
Not long ago,
They came, raided our dilapidated hut
And snatched him away
From my warm and placid lap.
He must be facing
The crude whiplashes of torture;
He must be calling my name
But who will decipher
The incoherent mumblings
Of his lisping tongue
Except his own mother?

Where is Eid?
See, I am in the prime of youth
But they have rendered me paralysed.
As I can’t walk on my own legs,
I stay indoors all the time,
I look at the stale ceiling of my room
And vividly see on it
the strand of my land’s journey
And the strand
Of my heart’s journey
Tied in a single sullen knot.
As I see this,
I curse the Indian occupation
In all the languages
That I have collected
From the wounded syllables of sorrow.

Where is Eid?
Come and enter our homes.
See, we have not
A mere crumb of bread
To mollify the sheer tumult
Of our hungry stomachs.
See, hirsute ogre of poverty
Is hanging in all its naked horror
From the sooty shelves
Of our only rancid room.
Now, you will say:
Have faith in God,
While stuffing your bellies
To the brim.
By the way, where is God?
Perhaps His visits are confined
To the privileged
Or perhaps He is afflicted with
Selective amnesia.
Let God be all yours;
We shall complain
To the Last Prophet (saw).

Where is Eid?
I am broken,
Broken beyond repair;
Every day, a snare of lurid nightmare
Hangs around my neck,
And every night,
My tongue is nailed
To the macabre cross of silent tragedy.
I love those
Who feed with stolid nonchalance
Upon the rotten meat of betrayals,
Who feast with pride
Upon the bloated flesh of cruelty.
The curvy bones of my grief
Are safely buried
Beneath the hairy skin of obscurity.
I don’t lay bare
The wintry dagger of scars
That is engraved
Upon the summer of my heart.

Where is Eid?
The opaque darkness
of my nondescript skepticism
is looking for
The lambent refulgence of God
Since ages,
And He is nowhere in sight.
My vinegary tongue of disbelief
Thirsts for the nectar of faith;
Either give me faith
Or just give me death,

Where is Eid?
I don’t see anything,
Nothing at all.
I wanted to visit this Eid
A sacred shrine in Srinagar
But the bane of pellets
Has orphaned my eyes
Of the boon of sight.
Now that I can’t cross swords
With the oppressors,
I invoke Makhdoom sahab (ra).
He will wage a war against them
on my behalf!

Where is Eid?
See, I am Kashmir.
As long as there is
Ugly monster of occupation
Straining ever unholy nerve
To depopulate this land
Of its inhabitants,
Ours is a perennial mourning.
Come and see the pale corpses
That I harbor
In my blighted bosom.
Come and see the pale corpses
That I harbor
In my blighted bosom!

Imtiyaz Assad hails from India occupied Kashmir.


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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 ‘Travel: Cities, Places, People’, edited by Nishi Pulugurtha, academic, Kolkata, India.

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