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    Lucifer better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven

    Eagles cartwheeled above illuminations Of Independence Day, the dogs sniffed at The electric bulbs which sizzled like fat The tall grass the monsoons left on the mountains Was aflame like corn in the setting August sun Two stones collided, sparked. India began to burn. At Mahatma Gandhi' s prayer meRead more

    Eagles cartwheeled above illuminations
    Of Independence Day, the dogs sniffed at
    The electric bulbs which sizzled like fat
    The tall grass the monsoons left on the mountains
    Was aflame like corn in the setting August sun
    Two stones collided, sparked. India began to burn.

    At Mahatma Gandhi’ s prayer meeting,
    Under Ashoka’s wheel on the tricolour,
    The air intoning religious verses,
    A man stood in the scabbard of the crowd,
    A machine gun at the tip of his zealous tongue.
    What well-tutored doves the politicians
    Had released into the skies above Delhi
    Had already blackened with the soot
    Of communal hatred. The air chanted
    The Bhagvat Gita, the Koran and the Bible .
    Gandhi nodded, warmed by his goat’s-milk diet,
    A moses and a Mohammed thinned
    To the bones of a self-denying innocence,
    Mild as foam on the tutored crest of his
    People’s violence, straight as a walking stick
    On the savage contours of his country
    When the bullets hit him, his body was cut
    Into the bars of jail he had never left,
    His stomach shrivelled in another hunger fast.

    A boy in the streets, sulking in his boots,
    Kicked at stones and poured his lip at crows.
    There was the shade to retreat to, the doors
    To be behind. But the pride of mountains
    Annoyed him, the neighing peaks loud
    With thunder exhaling the smoke of monsoon clouds.
    His nostrils twitched like a cow’s when a fly
    Sits there. For the sea air of Bombay was
    Salt, dry. And how could he describe his loss?
    His desperately calm the landscapes were!
    His heart, become a stone in the catapult
    Of his mind, could have struck the foolish adult
    Passions where murder and faith excluded each
    Other. Through eagles still hung like electric fans
    In the sky and the rocks suggested permanence,
    The blood in the earth was not poultry-yard slaughter.
    The boy cushioned his heart in the moss
    Of withdrawal for his India and his youth was lost.

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