The shades of the summer sky are nothing more
than the skins of every person in this Republic.
The sky in the morning,
Yellow, sun on the sunflower.
Basking winds and ‘dark-coloured’ skins.
It’s the skin of sweepers and sleepers,
who sweep the streets while their bodies become *****
and who stay awake all night, so we sleep.
The sky at noon,
when sun’s at peak.
Bright, blinding, unapproachable- Masculinity, it sounds like.
Of every man who’s bold and macho enough
to slap a woman
and then cry on every video game he lost.
The sky at one,
exhausting, tiring, perspirable.
Its every worker’s flesh that burns in
shinny kerosene, dark mines, bright flames and
stinking rupee notes.
The sky at three is
Foreign invader, refugee.
Like those who are unexpected, uninvited, unwelcomed
and either beaten or enslaved.
So, we make refugees regret seeking refuge
and perhaps being human.
The sky at five is
Settling into all colours and hues of the day.
It’s pastel and rainbow.
who sets and rests smiling after everything the day does to him.
So,sky plants seed for the day coming.
The sky at seven is
blue, ultramarine, trying to become black, accessorizes itself with stars,
like girls who themselves as ‘woman’
and boys who try to become ‘black’, ‘strong’ like ‘men’.
The sky at nine,
all colours into one,
and all differences that can be distinguished to be appreciated.
It is every religion’s turban, tika, kufi and cross;
mixed into one India.
The sky at ten,
Dark, bleeding, silent, cold and warm.
A kiss after a slap.
It I an beaten,
her scars deepened,
her wounds opened;
The sky at twelve,
Black, starry, formed after mixing all colours
garnished with the moon.
It is the skins of all migrants coming to this republic
and calling it home
because they know they are farthest and closest to it.
The sky after twelve,
quiet, crying, waiting and hopeful.
It is every empty stomach’s hope and every broken heart’s faith.
It is people on the sidewalk and inside the palaces.
Right now, it is the sky at dawn.
Dark – trying to become light,
Hope- trying to be.
My skin- trying to become the sky.
These are all, the skins of every person in this republic.
The shades of the summer sky are obviously nothing more than this.