Thursday, February 9, 2023

Dispossession – Haimanti Dutta Ray, Kolkata


fenceHad there been a parameter

Whereby to scale the length and breadth

Of a country,

We’d have ascertained where our identities ended.

Yet there are places –

No Man’s Land, we call them,

Where, to be born, would grant us a unique

Experience of being a non-entity.

These spaces are beyond geographical boundaries,

Nations do not lay claim over them,

These are no-war zones—

And those who people them,

Belong to no one, they are the dispossessed.


The barbed wire fences,

Delineating countries and people,

Run along the border-lines

Of a nation, internally torn apart by strife.

Countries demarcate themselves by invisible doors,

As tho’ they’re neighbours sharing between themselves

A land, no one had truncated for them.

The landmass which lies between two adjacent countries,

Belonging neither here nor there

Has borne witness to innumerable battles and war,

Fought to gain control over it.

Has anyone ever wondered whether this land,

Barren and rugged, should be given an identity?

Like giving a name to an unwanted, non-parented progeny?


Imagine a boy looking and gaping,

From the other side of the fence

At another one, of the same age

As himself, belonging to a different nationality.

Yet their blood is of the same hue.

Looking askance at the other, as though

The other would be able to answer the questions

Piling up in his mind for centuries.


Men waging war beyond boundaries,

Are but puppets in the greater scheme

Of things. We are silent witnesses,

Of the partitioning of a land,

Which had been rightfully ours.

Women gathering stones in their utensils,

Are not aware that their patch of land

Falls between two neighbouring nations waging battle.

They are hardly aware that the stones would ultimately break their molars

Into smithereens. They work tirelessly,

Without realising that their lives

Would come to an end, suddenly –

They are the totems of our human existences.


We live a life, neither here nor there

In the ultimate penumbra of our consciousnesses,

We are the common man, the every man,

Inhabiting a netherworld, a world where

Every dream turns out to be a nightmare.

Editorial Team of Indian Ruminations.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here




Revisiting Ambedkar’s Vision of ‘United States of India’: Can It Stand as Modern India’s Viable Alternative?

In April 2020, Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor waded into the debate, arguing that a Presidential system would prevent the “one-man show” that the Indian system has evolved into. The proponents of this line of thought also cite the United States' (relative) political stability as one of the key reasons to support their argument. The proposal challenges the Indian Constitution’s “Basic structure doctrine” decided by the Supreme Court in the Kesavananda Bharathi case. However, this requires further examination: a Presidential form of government might fix some of India’s political gridlock, but it may also open Pandora’s Box, releasing a whole wake of issues in its place. This includes a politically biased Supreme Court and horse-trading of MPs on a scale unheard in Indian politics.

Reconstructing our solidarity with the farmers’ protest

The controversial farm laws brought by the union government are essentially about the agricultural market. As the domains (Agriculture and the...

Sharapova: Victim of Fate or of False Regulatory Mechanism?- Dr. Razeena Kuzhimandapathil, Kerala

Maria Yuryevna Sharapova definitely had a controversial career both inside and outside tennis courts. She has the talent that...

Must read

Reviewing ‘Obsession and Wild Pigeon’ by Ismat Chughtai

My interest in Ismat Chughtai developed when I first...
- Advertisement -spot_img

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you