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Republic Day juxtaposition

by Sudhanshu Chopra

Troops of soldiers march down the horizon-wide path
in unison trying to make us believe everything is in order.

A few of them perhaps still working to believe the same
themselves too, lest they’d be charged outright with

insubordination? The parade compound sealed squarely
so that no discipline escapes. And nothing foreign strays

in. Nothing that crams the narrow roads like pieces of
mosaic. Nothing that makes a mental old man to howl

whimsical expletives at no one in particular standing in
the middle of the bridge. It is against order for 8 year olds

to delve into random garbage piles, search for regurgitated
morsels like their grime-caked fingernails chase after lice

in each other’s wild, unwashed hair. No synchrony permits
a life like that. A life spent in shadows of disfigured walls

spat on & pissed over, patched with half-torn posters of
movies where the protagonist declares that the line starts

from where he stands, in a language in which queue roughly
sounds like why. A life of bones wrapped in rags unravelling,

of lying strewn, supine before dozing off on dust, amid the
cacophony of horn, engine & exhaust. A life meaning a slight

navigation—a little bit of driving around—for the general
traffic, a minor speed bump for the darting ministerial beacon.


Sudhanshu Chopra is a poet, wordsmith and pun-enthusiast. 31 and rootless, he is fascinated by nature and frustrated by its incomprehension. He wishes we had evolved better or not at all. It is the midway that causes Catch 22 situations, which are quite troubling, mentally and otherwise. He tweets at @artofdying_

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