• New Game On

    Nabina Das

    December 24, 2019

    Image courtesy The Indian Express

    Map Makers! The new video game

    in town is here. To play Map Makers

    the Rulers have stencils and erasers.

    Also permanent markers. Plus all

    baton-wielding forces their side.

    Who knows if things go really awry.

    The opposition team has brushes,

    colors, and a few pencils to write

    with. Plus, they are singing loud,

    playing the drum, dotara, flutes.

    Who knows if the batons strike

    their heads. It's better to fall down

    while singing. The video game will

    last as long as the two teams last

    and it's not 'half-time' yet on the floor.

    But already there's gore all around.

    Every time Rulers charge and seal

    maps, the effing opposition paints

    over the lines, the barriers, borders.

    They break through with their songs.

    With fractured hands, blinded eyes.

    Rulers want game up to 1-0 now.

    But how! Colors deluge the blood,

    more music hits batons back. More

    the maps are drawn, more they blur.

    Rulers play in fury. The opposition

    chants: snuff it off! New game on.

    (This poem is written in response to the ruthless police action against students of Jamia Millia Islamia, Aligarh Muslim University, and countless others all over the country in the wake of recent protests against the CAA and NRC proposed by the current ruling party of India.)

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