Distress’s Daughter

Press corps representative Akriti Sethi strings words in poetry while describing the pensiveness of Special Political and Decolonization Committee (SPECPOL)’s topic- the Kashmir conflict.


I take a reluctant step forward, decide to saunter back around

The angry sky roars at my frivolity and my vulnerability instigates tremors on the ground,

Restore your historical legacy, China persuades, honour your motherland, India counters.

Go to the grave of the fourteen year old girl shot in the head; ask her if any of these matters.


The chair holders say that the atrocity has lingered on for far too long

Foreign spokesmen show concern, express their grief over every military action gone wrong,

Pakistan exerts pressure; India affirms a separate constitution to lure us away

Doesn’t anybody want to hear what we civilians have to say?


My father gruffly folds back the paper, saying a referendum isn’t enough

It wouldn’t grant us liberty rather would leave us in the middle of the rough

Loyalty to the state comes before anything else, the government earlier said.

Take all my reverence and devotion, I sigh, please just let me go back to school instead.


The roads are diverged, their paths foggy and obscure

Whichever way you turn you face crushing consequences with which you can never be sure.

Forgive us Allah on behalf of all these nations fighting for a meager chunk of land in vain,

Forgive us please, I murmur as my aunt grovels in the final gasps of pain.

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