indifferent stranger

Illustration by Arpan Roy

The day I lost my own land

 

A first glimpse appears through my childhood magnifying glass,

As seating over a hard stone, near to our own land.

I remember my parents weeping and consoling each other,

As the bulldozer had pieced our own land, own home.

 

Those cruel people, on the bulldozer, had nothing their own.

They were neither our well-wishers nor our enemies.

They came to finish their duty, and the same day,

We lost our own land and identity.

 

I remember, I stood up over the stone and

Started pelting stones on them, though I knew it’s useless.

 

I remember of picking up all broken pieces of my magnifying glass,

On the same day, we lost our own land.

 

My parents were born-farmers. My grand-parents were born-farmers.

And I, son of a poor farmer.

 

And the same day, I remember watching my parents’ helpless pale faces,

Crippled of being lost all the farmers can have in a lifetime.

 

Those cruel people had drawn a border line, between me and my land, my home.

Those political people defined a border line, between me and my weak, apolitical parents.

 

I remember people telling the final truth of our destiny;

We lost our own land, our own home and own self,

The same day, we lost our land.

 

Fear

 

A black sheep shivering; Neither
snow nor cold waves of winter,

Fear and glow of the
hunting dagger;

In the blood stains of it,
Face of the man reflected;

Fear comes with more fear;
exists until blood clotted

 

Pomegranate tree

 

Barefoot mind –
Ignites human flesh within

Pomegranate tree
in green leaves –

Red flowers blooming of it –
Blood flows a thousand horses

Sparks inner sense –
Falls onto desired (human) body

Pomegranate falls off the tree –
A thousand horses grounded

 

About the Poet

Kamal-Kumar-TantiKAMAL KUMAR TANTI (b. 1982) is a promising young voice in the contemporary Indian English Poetry. Kamal is a bilingual poet and writer, writes both in English and Assamese languages. He belongs to Adivasi Tea-garden Labourer Community of Assam. His first collection of Assamese poetry Marangburu Amar Pita (Our Father Marangburu), published in 2007, won him the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar for 2012, for Assamese language and Munin Barkotoki Literary Award in 2008.

Kamal’s English poems have appeared in many journals, including Indian Literature, The Little Magazine, Muse India, Kavya Bharati, Pyrta, Exchanges Literary Journal, Cerebration, NELit Review, Kritya, Visual Verse, Steer Queer, etc. His poems also included in several anthologies of English poems, including 40 Under 40: an anthology of Post-Globalization Poetry, Shout It Out! Anthology, The World I Write In, etc. His Assamese poems have been included in various anthologies of Assamese poetry and featured in various journals in Assamese. His forthcoming collection of Assamese poetry is Uttar-Ouponibeshik Kabita (Postcolonial Poems). Kamal’s collection of prose in Assamese, Nimnaborgo Somaaj Oitijya (Subaltern Society’s Legacy) comprised articles on post-colonial theory and subaltern historiography, with specific reference to colonial history and culture of Assam and was published in September 2007. This book was selected as one of the “Ten Best Books” among all the Assamese books that has been published during the year 2007-08, by Grantha-Bandhab (Friends of Books), a well-known organization in Assam. He also writes fiction. He is currently working as an Assistant Professor of Physics at University of Technology and Management, Meghalaya and lives in Shillong.