There’s freedom in the air,
There are anthems, there are flags-
Hearts drunk with patriotism,
Some voluntary, some imposed “nationalism”
And yet, somewhere in the back of my mind,
There’s the 11 year old girl who starved to her death,
There are Akhlaqs, there are Junaids,
There are Dabholkars, there are Pansares.
There’s a young man who,
While bleeding to his death,
Had to scream out his ethnicity-
Hoping somehow it could have his life spared.
Because after all, the language you speak,
Or the food you eat,
Or the faith you believe in,
Gives them the license to kill.
And while freedom wafted in the air,
And numerous flags smiled proudly down my street,
I kept wondering who is and who isn’t free.