A Nation Gone Berserk

between a moment
and its recollection,
meaning stresses
on its necessity,
in a dug-up corner
of a dried-up city,
whose future is nostalgia
and the past mere fiction.
The chosen ones
are abandoned
in preventive custody.
All pretensions of depth
are hollow. Whatever
stood erect now slouches
under the weight
of its contradiction,
there are no delusions
left to swallow.
The orphan skies return
our prayers with silences,
so men go out and fill
the emptiness with sorrow,
our tongues latched
with a dry aftertaste
of pungent blood
spilt on the streets,
outside abandoned mosques
and hollowed temples,
our bloodshot eyes
stare at the graves,
piling up in illegal heaps
while God sleeps
a dreamless sleep.
This is the era
of aftermath.
For what we know not.
All their reasons
are as good as none.
It’s getting too late
too late, too late,
we’re burning through time
beneath the naked sun.
It feels like a farce,
not a tragedy like this one,
whose only conclusion
would come too late,
at what cost we know not.
Both light and dark
amount to the same thing
when it’s too late.

Abhinav Shukla is an undergraduate student at Delhi University.

Featured image: Protestors clash with police during a protest demanding the arrest of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member Nupur Sharma for her comments on Prophet Mohammed, in Prayagraj, India, June 10, 2022. Photo: Reuters/Ritesh Shukla