Red Walls

They’re taking them away, Ma
My teachers, my idols
My strong, loving treasures
Are leaving the only space
That remained my own, Ma.

You sent me here to study
And I did
But I also grew,
Spread my branches and roots
And grew tiny flowers
And now they’re taking away
What has nurtured me, Ma.

I came here to learn
But I learnt horrific truths
Of how the world revolves
Around cruelty and authority
How blood washes away
Every inch of truth
From the spaces
We inhabit.

They truly only now
Made the walls red, Ma.

Who am I to turn to
When I want to see
What Literature does to a person
How it makes one
Love, hate, critique, embrace,
Genuinely, honestly, unabashedly
Give, give, give to the world.

I had only now begun to understand power
They showed me that
I understood too late, Ma
I am shouting at the top of my voice
But the world has cut off its ears, Ma
Or maybe I have lost my eyes
To not see that
They’ve all given up their hearts, Ma.

I had only now begun to put up a fight
They’re taking away all my strength, Ma
They’re leaving us lonely and disoriented
Our spaces are bereft of all warmth, Ma
Call me back home
This place is no more my home, Ma.

Anushka Pragya is a final year student of English Literature at Ramjas College, University of Delhi.

Featured image: Jason Dent / Unsplash