The Other Side

The Other Side

Years ago, after the freedom,
On a map laid on the table,
Some colonial masters,
With forks of perfidy,
Put us apart on the
Other side of Zakiganj.

Kushiara swells abound,
In my veins, but my
Heart aches in pain,
To toil the land in vain,
Still my roots remains on the
Other side of the stream.

Years later like a nomad,
I don’t find my roots,
Can’t hold anymore,
The strains of existence,
With so many identities,
Here on this side of Zakiganj.

On this side of the land,
I don’t find my roots,
My language, my songs, and
My tongue annoys,
So many who hates,
To see me survive,
And live after so many days.

On this side of the land,
The soil is only for her sons,
I find not a voice to listen,
I can’t call a place my own,
I hide even my whispers,
To earn respect, and
Lest they call me an alien,
I just sing their song.

Baharul Islam | Guwahati | 20 July 2011

Author's Notes/Comments: 

The poem depicts the ‘rootless’ feelings of people of a small part of Syllhet district (Bangladesh) who were divided at the time of India’s independence and now live on the other side river Kushiara that falls in India. The voice here laments the division and feels like an alien. Zakiganj is a town on the side of Bangladesh, Karimganj is the town falling on this side of India in the state of Assam.

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