Poem by Eshaan Mani
Here I rest, Exiled. Thrust between the pages of a book that can’t be read; Falling but flying, Caught in mid-air. Grabbing hold of sweet patriotic nothings before they escape from my other ear, I look for a way to live up to this dream My — this — country has thrust upon me. Blood is red they said; I say only blue blood seems to matter. Peace is white they said; I say there’s piece in sinking into the rainbow — The death of the fervent, the death of the fanatic… Only the disaffected survive without loss. And then there’s me: Prodded before I’m abandoned, Loudened before I’m hushed, Asked to say what I can see But never feeling like I can stand proud. My curled, deformed body. The weighted, patchy blanket, Up over my burning ears. Highlighter-yellow earbuds. I sink into the songs of a land that runs in my blood, The dhol keeping time with the guitar, the bansuri in harmony with the violin My bhangra rhythms clash with the waltz — I’m neither here nor there, Scrounging between cold walls for comfort and care.
Eshaan Mani is a writer, foodie, and tennis player. They have a passion for being the voice of inspiring people and inspiring events, and they also enjoy weaving an immersive story.