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On August 15

I
The streets are deserted, nay even the dogs would come sniffing
on this August afternoon, though these are the days for their mating;
More cunning than us, maybe, for the lustful night they are waiting.
Do they know today is the Independence Day or don't they simply care?
The dogs should loiter-linger in the streets because today is a special day.
And us, radio and television bark at us to come
On this day for the festival at the special venues.
But why the streets are deserted, the dogs may know not.
The bomb blasts, the blood, the rush at the hospitals show it all.
India, do you know why the streets are deserted?

II
Sixty-five years
Of never-ending tragedies.
And you call it independence;
Don't you have any dignity?
Don't complain.
Don't ever complain.
Never complain when you are humiliated,
You know you will be humiliated.
But don't complain.
India, forgive me and my tribesmen
We have the heart of a whore
India, you also have the heart of a whore.

III
We are free
We are free to kill each other
We are free to let ourselves killed
We are free to loot
We are free to let others loot us.
India, don't let us free.

IV
Deserted streets;
We have abandoned hopes, and enter here.
Independence brings no desolation
But look here, the bomb-torn streets
And the flag, it flies only inside the fort
And the delusive lessons we have been taught all these years
And all the lies we have always been told all these years
Sixty-five years of monkey business;
India, don't you know why the streets are deserted?
India, you know why the streets are deserted.




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