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!”
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!”
“And they… and they… LISTEN TO HEAVY-METAL MUSIC!”
“And they watch HBO RATHER THAN DOORDARSHAN!”
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
In its unity, peace and soul-making alone lies my highest bliss.