1 April 2016

The Border

I have never seen the border so close before.
It was a sad feeling on witnessing how a line of barbed wire divided one nation from the other.
The roads there, were deserted,
residential places were located far from the borders;
The only human souls to be found nearby were the  men in uniform.
even cats and dogs were rare to be seen.
By the time we reached, the sun was about to set; Of course on both sides of the border.
I noticed how nature was not partial, not at all.
and I even noticed how our cheerful faces turned gloomy on reaching there.
the man in uniform, in charge of that particular  gate was busy with some file work while we maintained the silence that prevailed there.

'Are these fences at all necessary? 
we share the same soil, the same blue sky.
acres of land covered by mango orchads on both the sides
both the nation looks so similar,isnt it?
then why is this border acting as a barrier?'
I asked myself.
I asked my friends.

The question remains unanswered still.

Minutes later, while the mind was wondering beyond boundaries,
an innocent and loud laughter travelled across  the border, reached my ear ,touched my heart.
and made me smile.
borders could not confine the laughter of that little boy,
it had to reach us,
it had to reach me.
it was meant to reach me.
so similar to that  of TANI, my sister back home.
And then in my mind I named this little boy, KABIR.
My brother from a distant land.
Its funny how the ones on the other side of the border who are believed to be different from us, hold the same power to make us smile just like our dear ones back home.
How do I differentiate when I know it is the same soil beneath my feet, that was beneath Kabir's feet on the other side.
His orchards grew the same fruits on trees alike.
and between all this I wondered,
whether Kabir liked mangoes as much I did?
how the word sister would sound in Kabir's language; 
as precious as it does in my language, right?
When will I be able to meet him? ever?

The questions knew no end.

I stood there and saw how easily the birds flew to the other side,
I envy them,I wish I too had wings to fly.
I wish it was that easy for me to cross border  without the fear of losing my life.
I wish it was easy for all of us, to make friends across borders.
I stood there and thought of the friend whom I never met ,the friend from the other side ,
who is also standing there near the border of her nation, staring and thinking the same .
RUKSHANA let her be named.

I felt she was standing right  there, waving at me.
immediately I felt we shared a relation,
a relation of friendship.

I connected with her in silence and made false promises of meeting
when the world wont divide us by barbed wires
then we will share stories of our childhood and of our families,
of our festivals too.
we will share our insecurities, about the deadly noises of the firing bullets.
we will share our only fear that one day these noises will suppress Kabir's laughter forever.

We will share the thoughts that haunt, 
of humans killing humans on the basis of religion. 
And how humanity is being buried in the no mans land.

The sun has set by now, and we witnessed the border at peace .
maybe the men are tired, coincidentally on both sides to pick up their guns and wage war at each other.
we saw the birds are returning back home.
Its our time to return back home too.
The heart felt heavy for I did not get to meet Rukshana and Kabir today.
I left my flower on the border for them.
At least let the fragrance of the flower reach them in my place.
I felt Rukshana stopping me. I heard Kabir calling me to play with him.
but I had to leave today,
and left my unspoken  words as a parting gift …

Have faith in me Rukshana, 
one day we will stand together and laugh at these borders, 
at the people who believe that these wires can divide souls.
hardly do they know, souls can even connect in silence.
like mine did with yours.
till then, let them be tired for all the years to come
tired enough to pull the trigger against  their own brother
till then,let this silence prevail, Rukshana.
let the world be at peace for sometime.
let our dreams cross borders and unite
our dreams for a better world ,
where these boundaries will be erased.
and humanity will be the only religion
till then, take care of yourself 
take care of  kabir,
stay strong.

And Promise me  you will wave at me when I will visit the border again.
till then,
Goodbye, my friend.
I promise to meet you in a better place.

About the Author :- 

A member of an N.G.O, Voices For Animals, Priyanka Chatterjee is a first year student of Comparative Literature from Jadavpur University! Apart from being a responsible citizen, she is a voracious reader and a social critic! J.U students you know? Also read :-

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