Us and Them

They see devils in our books and demons in our tunes.
They tell us to burn our blaspheming drums
and melt our pens, else face the wrath of God’s guns.

Their God’s guns.

They explain why our porcelain fingers should not sprout golden daffodils.

They clench their impotent fists around our paths.

They question
why we want to swim in the sand,
why we want to run under the bridge,
and why we want to fall into the sky.

They ask
why we don’t drink the warmth of the fireplace,
and why we don’t swallow their diktat.

They ask
why we ride bubbles,
why we stock our caskets with sunshine
why we fly off the edge of the mountains.

We do this because we can,
because our minds cannot be caged in cobwebs,
because our feet cannot be nailed to the floor,
because our hands cannot be tied to their clock.

We do this
because our hearts are wound around the sun,
because the wind is our bride.

Because our blood has not yet turned to stone.

They can keep their idols and their scrolls,
and stick to their texts and their scriptures,
they can choose to live in the middle of yesterday.

We want to stand on the threshold of tomorrow.


Pragaash, the only all-girl band from Kashmir, split up after a Muslim cleric called a fatwa against them. Disheartening to see talent suffer because of a few self-appointed culture policing bigots.


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