AN INDIA LIKE YOU For Alma Footprints in the dust on a Delhi street, Or Singapore or Washington DC, The siren world stays faithful at your feet, But you find her wherever you might be. And India, too. Tightly, she holds you: "Never leave me, child. I've nowhere to go." "I've left?" Alma says. "Indias are too few to be born in, to see the world, and know. I'm as Indian as you, India. It is you, my Bhuvanamohini, O land of immortals who lie too near for unlit lamps to show the way to me. Get a life of your own, female country. You've been Bharat always. Now, Bharati." A TOY FOR YOU For Ahaan I've brought a toy for you Master Ahaan. It's so large I can't get it through the door. Come out and take a look, my sweet insaan And it will remain just yours evermore. "This map is blank," you say. "Nothing to see." Fill it up with the colours of your mind, With a river that runs through drought, a tree Still standing, a spot where the sun can find A freezing child, a school for girls to grow, Indias made of laughter and of joy, Harvests for outstretched hands to overflow For all time to come. This map is your toy. Al-Hind is your Āsthā, Bharat's Imân: Do bigha zameen. Ek mutthi asmaan. Glossary: Bhuvanamohini: Charmer of the world insaan: human being Āsthā is the Sanskrit, and Imân the Arabic, for faith Do bigha zameen. Ek mutthi asmaan: Two acres of land. A fistful of sky
Asad Latif is a Singapore-based journalist. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
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