Thursday, April 11, 2013

Mr J's funeral

No tears
No flowers
When Mr J died
Just a sluggish diya
Whose flame extinguished
Even though the oil wick was replaced
Seven times

A copy of Ambedkar under Mr J's dead head
At Bhupesh Gupta Bhawan
Portentous colleagues who mumbled edits
Once, they believed his credo
Truth is the new hate speech
Now that fight, given up
Mr J, just another martyr
At whose funeral
We gather to pay our respect

Mr J edited a bulletin
That no one read
From a small town in Khandesh
Renowned for its exposés about government projects
Hence threatened
Torch-light flashed on his window
Prank calls to his office
His shirt, pant and under-garments in the balcony, burnt
The tulsi plant at the gate, crushed
His Atlas cycle smashed to pieces
A warning

How Mr J died
No one knew
His carcass found in a sugarcane field 
Near the highway
When his wife, now widow
Who no longer lived with him
Demanded an open trial
The police said, his murder is a figment of the imagination
And then, the state, it sued truth for libel

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