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Tell me, how was your day: This Indian girl’s poem to a stranger in Pakistan will move you

The poem questions how people from two different countries bear ill-feelings towards each other without even knowing one another.


Updated: March 11, 2016 7:49:20 pm
poetry slam 759 Shivani Gupta, Delhi-based poet, psychologist, researcher and a performance artist

“Dear girl from Pakistan,
I know it has taken me 69 long years but I hope it is not too late for me to say,
Forget about what’s in the news,
Tell me, how was your day?”

These were the words written by Shivani Gupta, a Delhi-based poet, in her poem titled ‘Dear girl from Pakistan’. The poem, which flows like a conversation with a girl from the ‘other side’, drives home the point that communication between the two can be and must be divorced from what’s happened in the past; from the time they haven’t lived in.

“I know nothing about you except that we’re separated by a border not created by us
A bus goes from my country to yours
That’s how close we are
A bus goes from my country to yours
Empty
And that’s how far,”

The poem questions how people from two different countries bear ill-feelings towards each other without even knowing one another. In her poem, Shivani enquires the girl about her favourite songs and movies, just like two strangers would in real life.

“I’m sorry. I am sorry that without so much as a second thought,
I say the words your country and my side,
And all that’s left that is ours is a common divide,
I am sorry that even my pronouns are possessive,
Obsessive with a need to demarcate our partition,
I have a confession,
I wish I knew you better”

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