Pond Of Trilokpuri: 1984
From Gauri Gill's document on 1984, a poem by Ajmer Rode
When will you clean up
the pond in Trilokpuri quarter
with the dead
afloat, suspended, sunk in its water.
The stink travels across seven seas
to seek my soul,
make it a pond of Trilokpuri.
The pond is a memory ancient.
People of religion performed
rituals, magic, charms with its water,
submerged here a god or goddess
who died for want of followers.
People of ordinary doings
drank a mouthful or two and carried on.
This Friday November 84
god Indira descended to see what went on,
drowned in the pond in deep shame.
Then Lord Shiva swooped down.
He let go Parvati’s hand
broke into a fierce tandava dance.
The holy Ganga drifted off his head
ended up in the pond.
The river suffocated;
something like religion
lay dead in my heart.
When will they clean up
the Trilokpuri pond?
Hard to console the soul within
harder to face the world you live in.
(Translated by the author from the original in Punjabi, Leela, 1999)
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