Performative, Poems


I remember listening
to my grandparents converse
in rapid fire Sindhi
When I was at their house,
In the summer of 2003
Meanings lost in translation
I was in agony.

I remember being confused,
Not understanding anything
But being fascinated with the sounds
The emphasis
The accent
The shape of the words
I was in awe

I  remember the first wedding
I danced at,
Copying my cousins’ erratic movements
And then smooth ones
As they swayed to Damadam Mast  Qalandar 
Not knowing at the time,
That it was not a Hindu chant
But a Sufi one
I was in bliss

I remember my mother’s stories
Of her grandfather’s travels
From across a hostile border
Through adversity, surviving only off creativity
And gradually developing biases
Against the reasons for their forced move
That day, I was enlightened

I remember reading the news last night
Scrolling through the despair on Facebook
Of eight bombs in five days
In a country we claim to hate
But our tongues still speak the language of
Tongues now horrified into silence
And the haunting melodies of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar 
Ring in an empty, destroyed shrine now.