An Ode to Our Ancestors

This one’s for those
whose stories went unheard, untold,
and whose bruises and scars
never really healed,
but dried up, waiting to get back
to their homes across borders,
where they left behind
trunks, suitcases and copper utensils,
hoarded with memories of the past–
a past so wrecked
that no one wants to remember.

While Jinnah and Nehru drew boundaries,
and people rejoiced over getting freedom,
our ancestors fought for survival
each day, every day,
women were raped,
men butchered,
children killed,
railways stations became graveyards,
and hospitals turned into battlefields,
while people were rendered homeless,

In the name of Independence,
our people lost the single most important thing – identity,.
With a glint in their eyes and unwavering hope in their hearts,
they set out.
New brides left behind their jewellery and trousseau,
grandmothers – their recipe books and utensils,
grandfathers – their transistors and Godrej almirahs,
kids – their clay piggybanks and kanche,
while families, as a whole, lost their existence.

Gradually, things settled,
but not for those broken families,
and maybe, they never will,
because a heart torn between two lands
can never belong to either of them.

Aastha Gupta hails from New Delhi and is a German language editor by profession. She has successfully co-authored more than five books in the past year with various publishing houses.

Featured image: Wikimedia Commons