A poetry by my daughter Aditi Chaturvedi following riots in Delhi recently.

With a school bag on his back and a Tiffin in his hand,
With teary eyes and messed up hair you could see him stand,
Inside a temple, in front of god,
He said something which deserved an applaud,
“I’m sorry for bunking school today,
But I had to talk to you on this important day,
I have a few questions in my mind,
For which answers, I’m not able to find,
Why god why? Why is the whole city shattered,
Why are no lives in this city mattered?
Why are cops covering the whole city,
Seeing them struggle is such a pity,
Why does mom sound so stressed when I go to school,
To calm her down, I can’t find any tool,
Why are there so many warnings everywhere,
Why suddenly, are people, about safety, beggining to care,
Why do my friends tell me that there is danger all around,
You only tell me,how cruel does that sound?
Why god why? Why do I see blood when i walk on the road,
What I’m doing is trying to break this code,
Why does a single loud noise scare everyone,
Why is everyone relieved when in the morning, they see the sun?
Where has all the happiness gone,
Why can’t I see a single child playing in a lawn?
All this scares this little boy,
Who nowadays, can’t even play outside with his toy,
But most importantly,
I want you to answer these questions,
Which for this lock, will give me a key ,

Why does mom cry to bed every night,
I promise God, with her, I did not fight,
Why did dad leave us and go far away,
Now, I have no one with whom I can play,
Why does mom tell me that dad will never return back,
Because a heart is what the rioters lack,
Who are these people who took my dad,
Please tell them to bring him back,without him mom and me are going mad,
Why did mom tie a flower garland around dad’s photo,
Why has crying become our family’s motto?
But god, I sometimes think,
Is this ship actually beginning to sink?
Will dad really not come back,
Will he not sneakily give me burgers from mac?
Will he never defend me when mothers scolds me,
Will he never read the paper while drinking his tea?
Will he never take me in his lap,
Will he never teach me the difficult world map?
Will he never make his burnt food,
Which will spoil mom’s mood?
Will he never kiss me a good night,
Will he never measure the increase in my height?
If daddy is with you, please tell him that I miss him a lot,
I promise , I will not be mad at him, even if we fought,
Here’s a tiffin I can offer you,
Because offerings I can make very few,
Please don’t tell mom that I came here,
She’ll be so angry, oh dear!
But god please, bring daddy back to me,
I’ll be sitting under his favourite tree,
And god if possible,please send the answers with him,
It will be really helpful for both, me and him,
But for me the answers don’t matter,
I just want my dad, because I can’t see my mother’s heart shatter,
I want to see our happy family again,
In our favourite house, on our favourite lane”

He said that and left,
Keeping his Tiffin as the gift,
Hoping that he would find his dad,
But little did know this lad,
That the terrorists had taken his father to a place,
Which only the dead could trace,
Like him there are thousands waiting for their family,
So that all of them can again live happily,
All they do is wait,
Even though they know it’s late,
But we all wait for an answer,
Which still remains untold,
We’ll wait, we’ll wait till the humans get brains,
We’ll wait for the day when we don’t see blood on the lanes,
We’ll wait for the day when the world is free of terror and pain,
We’ll wait for the day when happiness we’ll gain.
We’ll wait
We’ll wait
Till we get rid of all this hate.

Published by Prof Pankaj Chaturvedi

Deputy Director, Center for Cancer Epidemiology, Tata Memorial Center, Mumbai. Professor, Department of Head Neck Surgery, Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai

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