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ISSN: 0974-892X


July, 2016





Yogesh Patel

A near miss
Not one of ‘Midnight’s Children’
An African, an Indian and the British citizen
The all-in-one child
Sings in a school assembly
Orphaned by the Nile
Forsaken by the Thames
Abdicated by the Ganges
Asserting he is loved by history
He is loved by the forefathers
And salutes the flag
Muttering, ‘And who are you exactly?’

Blyth's reed warbler and olive-backed pipit
With sky under their wings
Sit on a pole with thoughts of nests
Far across the sea

The child learns from them the sky
Paces like a ‘Caged Bird
Someone opens the cage
‘Bloody British!’
The child jets off, only to be rediscovered
As an alien again
Clutching his British passport

Haunted still by the Rhythm of
Idi Amin’s army boots
Nehru’s absolute claims
Hum Nehru chacha ke pyare
(We are the children Nehru Uncle loves)
He meets Thelma the Thames whale
Watches in desperation
Her rescue. Then bones.
Wondering in which museum he would
Leave bones of Nehru chacha’s fêted child

Defeated he walks away
We are apostrophes
We are the bones
We are the bone
We are the bone

Whale and I.