On Kochi Strike

It was when the roads were brave with

No soul treading upon it, but

Fires silently flaming high upon the falling

Tree trunks and giant logs

All so silent,

Silence that embezzles every shred of reason

Out of a worn out mind


The language was not mine, not

Even the faces or reflections

Any similar

I was getting into this unseen, unfelt stretch

Of land with nothing

But what the land offered me quite



I had known of the red, and

Every anger and dissent that flows

From that land, but

This anger was saffron, it

Was unafraid as if to have that

Cunning smile, concealed somewhere beneath

The scenes of basic deprivation

And fear, just fear


With every passing of a burnt tree, of

A shut house or burnt effigies, I

Saw the life running away from life, I

Saw resistance not in rebel

But in regret, or

Better or worse, in



So, the streets of Alavu rendered

Me a poem,

A poem that is about protest, about

Us versus them

About every tick of clock spent in fevered perspirations

The streets made me see life

As life that never made sense to me when

I ever made sense of politics and


The rebel bloomed like a lotus, over

What seemed like settled mud.  

And I,

Well I waited for the dawn.


2 thoughts on “On Kochi Strike

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