#48. Dr. Sabreen Ahmed

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Mother Tongue Blues

A human, a woman, a netizen of India,

 A native axomiya -a goriya or ‘miya’,

a deshi,  jolha or a baganiya

 I am all in flesh and blood one

 yet i deeply crib when one asks—

what is my mother tongue?

I blast out at

the computer operator

 at the NRC hearing centre

who is rude to my

septuagenarian father and uncle

 and repeats—

what is our mother tongue?

 He has never heard of the term ‘Axomiya Mosolman’.

I was enraged, but he was just doing his job,

yet why i crib when one asks—

What is my mother tongue?

The lockdown did no better

Those who couldn’t spit on the streets

Spat venom on their screens

Some sane, some insane and some obscene

Yet all in flesh and blood one

And still I crib when one asks—

What is my mother tongue?


No words nor dreams                                        

 no sorrow or screams                                     

 can  reach my mind                                                      

 now a tabula rasa.                                        

There are no more echoes                               

   of the soprano                                                    

  of those bygone sagas of love                         

 as I harp on to                                                   

  the encircling vistas                                          

   of surmounting hatred                                          

 I move apart to                              

  untrammelled pastures of darkness.                                  

  Walking with the sophistry                                                  

 of the mind                                                        

over lanes and streets                                         

 in unseen starry nights,                                      

   a masked woman am l,                                          

I hide my brazenness                                          

 to walk on with a clogged up brain.                  

   I know not where to stop                               

  and etch my destiny                                          

   in the lost footprints of time

Dr. Sabreen Ahmed has received her PhD from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi in Feb 2013. Her area of interest is Gender studies, South Asian English Writing and Contemporary Theory. She has published an anthology of poems entitled Soliloquies (2016) and has also edited a UGC Sponsored National Seminar Proceeding captioned Indian Fiction in English and the Northeast (2016). Currently she teaches in the Dept of English, Nowgong College, Nagaon, Assam, India. She writes poems, short stories, articles, book reviews etc for several webzines in India like Café Dissensus, The Thumbprint, The Citizen, Feminism in India, The Assam Tribune and so on.

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