Migrations are always difficult:
ask any drought,
ask the year 1947.
Ask the chronicles themselves:
if there had been no migrations
would there have been enough
history to munch on?
Going back in time is also tough.
Ask anyone back-trekking to Sargodha
or Jhelum or Mianwali and they’ll tell you.
New faces among old brick;
dripping from the lips of strangers.
This is still your house, Sir.
And if you meditate on time
that is no longer time –
(the past is frozen, it is stone,
that which doesn’t move
and pulsate is not time) –
if you meditate on that scrap of time,
the mood turns pensive
like the monsoons
gathering in the skies
but not breaking.
Mother used to ask, don’t you remember my mother?
You’d be in the kitchen all the time
and run with the fries she ladled out,
still sizzling on the plate.
Don’t you remember her at all?
Mother’s fallen face
would fall further
at my impassivity.
Now my dreams ask me
If I remember my mother
And I am not sure how I’ll handle that.
Migrating across years is also difficult.
The writer Keki Daruwalla, starts right off referring to general crisis to help the readers to relate to his point of view (ask any…). He continues adding points that evokes a sense of a dramatic event (ask the chronicles). He slowly turns his narrative tone to a descriptive tone in order to deliver the sentiment right (Going back in time…sentiment dripping).
On the very next paragraph the writer talks about how difficult and sad it is to forget their good times in a creative manner with beautiful use of metaphor (like the monsoons gathering)
On the final paragraph, he brings the readers a step closer to his feelings by talking about family, flashing a dull theme on their minds. He explains how hard is to forget how his mother even looks and realizing how his mother would have felt when she asks the writer if he remembers her mother. This sentence also explains how long the entire partition process took. He finishes off his poem with these final words, “migrating across years is also difficult” where he clarifies all doubt and clearly states that it was all about the psychology effects and issues which trouble the people more than the migration itself.
Overall his poem talks about the leftover side of the “Partition” and adds weightage to it on the histories of India!