once, a partition happened
among a family.
they saw the other’s religion
and decided –
they can’t stay together.
the family was big,
full of people in their
childhood, teens, adulthood and
some about to die.
the decision was taken by elders
and others had to follow.
that was the norm.
so the partition happened,
and they were no longer the same family.
they called each other – our enemy.
however, still, the two families
had children from the other’s religion.
they called them minorities.
decided we will be fair and equal
and wrote a book of rules
that was to be followed by generations to come.
that we will not see religion
because that’s not our ethos.
years passed by,
children grew, and
decided, let’s see
how people of our religion
are doing in the other family.
so, once again they started
they said they don’t look well.
they look the same as our
children suffering from malnutrition.
we should call them at our house
so that they can call it their new home.
one of them then said,
among those suffering in the other house,
I will only allow the minorities,
we should look at their religion,
before they can call our house
children in the house
came with that rule book
written years ago
and said we shouldn’t look at their
religion. they are all human because
poverty, hunger, and malnutrition
don’t see religion.
look at the children in our house,
both ‘Ram’ and ‘Raheem’ are sick.
we suffered the greatest loot
because of the policy of ‘divide and rule’.
our big family got divided
because we saw the other’s religion.
yet still we are doing the same,
even after writing that in our rule book
that we shouldn’t discriminate
or divide on the basis of religion.
so, the elders seeing the weight
in the arguments of children
decided – ‘let’s change the rule book’.
and the children feeling devastated
went to the judge and found that
the honourable judge has got
infinite patience to look at their suffering.
while the children discussed –
“the judge appears wiser than our elders.”
“he knows the rule book more than us.”
one of the elders said –
“of course! he belongs to our religion!”
Himanshu Ranjan lives in Nashik, Maharashtra. He is a poet and a Young India Fellow. His anthology is titled ’36 Love Stories’ in which he has composed thirty-six sonnets and a sestina. His poems have appeared or forthcoming in ‘Eunoia Review,’ ‘Poetry Potion,’ ‘Scarlet Leaf Review,’ and Indrdhanush.’ He loves teaching chemistry.