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Fenced Freedom

Mridvi Khetan

Dada believes his world will be free,
the day he achieves his unfulfilled political glee.
The day his flatscreen dreams of being the speaker,
in Lok Sabha receives actuality. Growing weaker,
he believes there weren’t enough fish in the sea back then.
Yet he sailed the boat of survival in 1947 when he was merely 10.
Dadi believes her world will be free,
when ‘Muslims’ perish in a mass spree.
When the ghosts of her fellow ‘Hindus’ are avenged,
and her mother soil is cleansed of their stench.
All while she reminisces upon her family’s loss,
back in 1947, when they had to come across.
Papa believes his world will be free,
the day his business thrives without decrees,
from government, police, and foreign agents.
When his capitalist dreams are possible without suasion.
Cursing the ones who support socialism,
because back in 1947, his family too rose from the poor prism.
Ma believes her world will be free,
the day she’d be allowed to disagree
with the supercilious men in her abode,
and their sour fancies bound in an indirect code.
A hankering to raise her voice and speak.
All because back in 1947, they were told to be meek.
Finally, I believe my world will be free,
the day I can walk the streets at three.
With air in my lungs and stars in the sky,
feeling alive without fear in my eyes.
Hoping for this fantasy night,
because back in 1947, there was only fright.


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