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HOMECOMING

Akshita Sharma

They came in the middle of the night,
Howling,
Roaring,
With arms and fire torches.
The most tranquil place ,
Was now resonating with abomination,
Execration,
Dread
And diffidence.
' Freedom' , they chanted,
'Cleansing' , they called it,
It was an exodus,
On that ill fated night,
When mothers shrieked for their children,
When fathers ran with a bloodied leg when their shoes dropped,
When wailing was all we heard,
When the demons banished us,
From our own motherland,our Kashmir,
Into an infinite exile
As outcasts in our own country.

Thirty years later,
O motherland, I dream of you-
Do you remember me?
Sitting by the window sill,
I dream if
You still love the crackling of the Chenab?
The Dal lake still has those Azollas?
It still snows on our little playground?
The majestic Chinar still cool the perspiring travellers?
Your splendor and magnificence still makes the populace fall in love with you?
Your bleeding heart, O mother, still pines for my homecoming.

I dream to return home,one day, dear mother!
And lie in your lap
So that you can fondle my head
And hold me against your heart
For I am your daughter, dear motherland,
I, too am incomplete without you,
I am a Pandit and I vow to come back to you.



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