My Mother weeps

{xtypo_dropcap}M{/xtypo_dropcap}y mother, many millennia old, bleeds and weeps in silence.

She feels lonely, alone among her billion children.

She is not sure whether the salty tang on the taste buds

of her multilingual tongue

reminds her more of her blood, or of her tears.



Her children notice her plight,

at least some of them, at least some of the time,

and wail in their dozens of languages, in the hundreds of their dialects.

Often they wail in the new tongues they have acquired

from her erstwhile invader-guests.

When their hands do not beat their breasts,

or are not thrown back in despair, the right hands extend forward and point,

helplessly in different directions.

She is now used to this blend

of her stoic silence in protest

mingling with their periodic wails, also in protest.

The few million ancestors of her billion children, assembled from all over the world,

had had their encounters, battles, feuds, bloody disputes,

Devas with Asuras, the Mahabharata war,

every Rajya battling with every neighbouring one,

while she seemed to be in a resigned but smiling pose,

because only the kings and armies seemed to suffer

and not the rest of the people!

But suddenly a few centuries ago,

the invaders were no longer of the kind,

that fought a war, won or lost and left.

They had to rob and plunder,

but also stay to stab her again and again, where it hurt most.

They wanted to remove from her children, what she had given them,

an identity that was a continuum from an unforgettable past.

They wanted to reshape her children in their images

or destroy them if they refused to comply.

When she thought she was free from the two psycho-holocausts,

some of her children had become different,

a few among them convinced that they were no longer hers.

These partitioned her land and left to stay in their share.

With wounds all over, also deep down in her ancient soul,

she is magically still around, arms draped around her remaining children.

Today, when a few prodigal neighbours inflict menacing wounds again,

she wonders how they became outsiders and enemies,

how they learnt to hate her and everything that is hers,

and are capable of wounding her psyche much more

than the invader-guests of yester-years!




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