- At Wagah
Editor's Note: On the border between India and Pakistan, the town of Wagah was established during the Partition in 1947. Every day at sunset, when their flags are lowered, the sides face each other in dramatic military displays.
At WagahI love you the mostThe border, marked by the spectacle ofStomping army boots, shining medalsBeating their chestsInto the rising and setting sunThe day becoming night, and the night dayWhen the guards on both sideschange bang bang
I love you the mostAt WagahWhen the guns are raised to saluteSeparation, division, and ruptureWhen the neighbor dies and wears the shroudbecomes enemy all at once
My friend, you go awayOnly as a bird doesFlying in the free skiesWhen lines of hatred riseAgainst prayer flagsWagah happens
And I love you the mostbecause you are on the other sideof the border [End Page 90]
Sukrita Paul Kumar is a poet and critic who holds the Aruna Asaf Ali Chair at the University of Delhi. She has published four collections of poems in English: Oscillations, Apurna, Folds of Silence, and Without Margins. Her other books include Narrating Partition, The New Story, Conversations on Modernism, and Man, Woman and Androgyny.