Imaginary Lines

 

What if our Indian Pledge (and Anthems from any part of the world) was an hon­est pro­jec­tion of our con­tem­po­rary times? Let me break down the walls we’ve built, because it cre­ates more ene­mies than is sup­posed to keep away. Let me erase the imag­i­nary lines, because it stops our love from expand­ing.


India is my coun­try.
All Indians — and for­eign­ers — are my Customers and Competition.
I love my coun­try, and I’m proud of its Inequality and Corruption.
And I shall always strive to write bet­ter poems than this shit!
Confined in imag­i­nary lines, we don’t care the tini­est bit
What it is that we’re actu­al­ly proud of
When we LOUDLY repeat an anthem that claims,
MY GROUP IS THE BEST”,
Which actu­al­ly means,
EVERYONE ELSE SUCKS!”
Wow! Really?

I’m left with­out a choice, as my voice DROWNS
Into the imag­i­nary lines, like a leash around my neck
For an invis­i­ble mas­ter to con­trol us like loy­al dogs —
These imag­i­nary lines that divides us all
Into Us and Them.
It’s with­in these imag­i­nary lines
You are sep­a­rat­ed from the world, com­plete­ly con­fined,
And you’re con­vinced that YOU… are bet­ter,
Comfy inside your own lit­tle box.

Mommy, why can’t I go out­side to play with my friends?”
“Coz they are mon­sters who speak a DIFFERENT LANGUAGE!”
“Ohhh, sheeeeit!”
“And they… and they… LISTEN TO HEAVY-METAL MUSIC!”
OHHH, SHEEEEEIT!”
“And they watch HBO RATHER THAN DOORDARSHAN!”
OHHH, SHEEEEEIT!”

You close your eyes and fire at will,
In a con­stant war against those who are NOT you,
‘Coz it doesn’t even mat­ter who is right or wrong,
So long as not a drop of blood spills where we belong.
Our errors are mis­takes. THEIR errors are crimes!
There’s no sym­pa­thy for any­one beyond these imag­i­nary lines,
Not even for kids, who are told it’s “just healthy com­pe­ti­tion”.
There nev­er was such thing as a “healthy com­pe­ti­tion”,
Because those who com­pete only care to WIN.
The imag­i­nary lines are a prod­uct of a rigged game of flight,
Where the pigeons win, and Monkeys are put to shame.
We shouldn’t call that, “Survival of the Fittest”.
Call it, “Survival of He who fits into redun­dant tests”.
And notice how I said “He” and not “She” or “They”.
Because what dan­gles between people’s legs have more to say
Than their skill for words or com­pas­sion in their heart.

We always scheme to split peo­ple apart
Into cat­e­gories, like in a gro­cery store,
With a cul­tur­al label on their fore­heads.
“There’s play­boy!” “There’s a whore!”
How many times we for­get that our eyes regret
We don’t know what lies beneath what we see. And yet,
We don’t think twice when we con­de­scend,
Whether someone’s a foe or a friend.

Beyond these lines are peo­ple, like you and me.
But we divide our­selves unknow­ing­ly.
We KILL them, because we fear
That they would kill us for their self­ish cheer.
Look into the mir­ror: When you carve some­one a scar,
It reflects in us, and what we tru­ly are.

So, Guys or Gals, Gays or Trannies,
Apple or Android, Indians or Pakistanies,
Atheists or Christians. It doesn’t real­ly mat­ter
What cul­ture you’re from, or what book you read —
Or don’t read. What do I care?
Because lines do not define the pic­ture,
Rather, vol­umes defines who you are.
Look at Mona Lisa; Her paint­ing has no edges!
But you see her smile through her spell-bind­ing stroke,
While every­thing beyond her vol­ume has gone up in smoke,
Into the air I breathe, that obeys no imag­i­nary line.
It’s there for us all. Completely entwined,
With us, entic­ing us to erase the lines of our own being,
Till what’s left are immor­tal words, float­ing freely,
Like a whis­per in the winds, where labels and con­flicts
Evaporate like the morn­ing dew. And I real­ize, that
I AM the uni­verse. And no mat­ter who you are,
So are you.

So let me talk to some­one who speaks a dif­fer­ent lan­guage.
Let me make friends with some­one with a dif­fer­ent biol­o­gy.
Let me cel­e­brate the art of the bro­ken hearts
In a coun­try torn by its own gov­ern­ment.
Let me res­onate with the poets of the East and West,
Let me be enchant­ed by the Celtic sto­ries of mag­ic and mys­tery,
Let me lis­ten intent­ly to the Japanese songs
Whose words I CANNOT under­stand,
But whose chaot­ic rhythm can still seduce my soul!
And in turn, let me share with them
The Lokshahirs of the past that used to talk to the clouds.

Don’t tell me it’s wrong.
Don’t tell me to fear what I don’t under­stand.
Don’t dare to ask me, how could I love any­thing beyond
When there’s so much here?
Because I’ll ask you:
Why should my love be con­fined
Within these imag­i­nary lines?
Your world might be small, but not mine.
When we divide every­thing into “Us vs Them”,
We only see War. But NOBODY SEES
That when the Indian sub­con­ti­nent met Asia
It had this HUGE BONER of love that we call, “the Himalayas”.
We’re already engaged. It’s time we mar­ry.
Because there­in lies Peace.

So please… let’s stand up. Together.
With your hand on your heart. And repeat after me.

I pledge alle­giance to the Earth, my home.
I shall respect all the LIFE that it sup­ports, its sci­ence and its art.
I am proud of its infi­nite poten­tial.
I will always appre­ci­ate what we had and have, and what we can cre­ate.
I shall always strive to be a bet­ter per­son today than I was before,
And for all that I’ve tak­en, I’ll return EVEN MORE.
One Planet, in our care, irre­place­able, with SUSTENANCE and COMPASSION
FOR ALL.
In its uni­ty, peace and soul-mak­ing alone lies my high­est bliss.

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