Independence Day by Manash Bhattacharjee


Independence Day
(15th August, 1947)

The day had turned out to be
A feast for vultures
Every Muslim and Hindu body
Was Parsi in death

The gods fled the streets of bones
They left Kabir’s country desolate

Water partitioned blood,
Blood partitioned water,
Families partitioned gold,
Map partitioned memory,

No one sang anthems for the dead
No one raised the flag of skeletons
No one remembered the forgotten

Pigeons flown from the ramparts
Dispersed serenity under the sky
Even the clouds rained only water
And crops were harvested on time


Manash Bhattacharjee is an author and poet from Delhi. His poems have appeared in The London Magazine, New Welsh Review, The Fortnightly Review, Elohi Gadugi Journal, The Postcolonialist, George Szirtes’ Blog, Warscapes, First Proof: The Penguin Books of New Writing from India (Volume 5), The Missing Slate, The Little Magazine. His first collection of poetry, Ghalib’s Tomb and Other Poems (2013), was published by The London Magazine Editions.

This poem recalls the events on the eve of the 68th anniversary of India’s independence.