till the next call

by

i am alone

every day on the road

the madness

called road rage

manifest all around me

traffic careening insanely

my cocoon of the car

at least apparently

giving safety

and i smile

while around me

so many left at the mercy

of a God

seemingly merciless to them

whose will they are told it was

and then i recall

climbing the stairs to an office

to meet three kids

whose parents were burnt

by a frenzied mob

in a brick kiln

in 2014

vacant eyes looked at me

accusatory expressions

of mistrust and maybe hate

for we represented all they

‘have not’

i shuddered

they were thinking

what i think

every time a caller says

may i ask about Gul?

and in that microcosm of time

we were one

maybe the middle one

the five centuries old girl sonia

sensed it

for she smiled

he is not here to reopen our wounds

he knows our hurt is his!

and we though alone in ourselves

were one for that moment in time

i saw kids in that room

not of 11, 9 and 5

but three lives

at whom life had thrust

the mantle of adulthood

in the body and mind of

children at an age

when Ben 10, Tom & Jerry

and cartoon network

should take their time

not someone asking about

death!

forgotten, forlorn, shattered

playthings in the hands of society

which plays with them

not puts playthings in their hands

and so it ended

Shama, Shahzad, Suleman, Sonia, Poonam, Gul, I and a five month foetus in the mother’s womb

together yet alone

forgotten

except to talk of the horror of the day

once again

and the next instant

a cup of tea

good bye

till the next call

.

.

.

lahore

05/11/2018 – 18:00 hours

lahore

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