Everyday, I curse my forefathers wishing they had never taken the train to Pakistan.
The train was ten ill-fated dabbas attached to one another; joined together by a chain toiled with our brothers’ sweat and hard work. On that dim less night, we were against those same brothers.
A rubble and mass of crime, sin and hatred: that was what it was. The soil was redder than blood of those who had lost their lives, the moon was stricken with error and the clouds gave away to the rain which was to seemingly purify our souls.
It was a hundred foot journey; the train was everywhere like the conspicuous shadow of doom which has confided in you with every twitch of your nose and twist in your gut. My forefathers, pallbearers of our impending doom set out with a sickly lit oil lamp along with ten thousands of Muslims to go the land which was cursed the minute it was born. ‘As the world sleeps, Pakistan would wake to its self destruction’…
My mother had bellowing pains in her belly, braving those and my incessant prowling kicks she marched forward along with the rest of the awry community. I was looking back; my fetus face (a mass of clot and blood) was trying to push her neck to take one last drawn look at the country she would never call her home; India.
We set upon that hundred foot journey, followed it into the nebulous corridor of separation to reach a land which was formed by the stubbornness of a dying man and of a community of cowardly believers. They carved in the soil, etched its very soul and ravaged its country to call it ‘the pure land’. Baby Ayam mocked those incendiaries. Baby Ayam died and was born twice.
My mother rested her rotund callipygian on the damp seat. I kicked and kicked and kicked but she turned deaf to the calls of her own insides. She plastered on a smile, afraid to oppose the political inclinations of her ancient home-owned ‘patricians.’ The train swished past the colored land called India and reached the monochrome Pakistan, ‘fortunately’ uneventful. I wished we had rather been burnt alive.
A curios incident caught the fancy of Baby Ayam. A mockingbird seemed to have followed the train from ravaged India to expat Pakistan. It sang dutifully along the entire journey but once it set foot on the soil I would not call home, the mockingbird turned around and fled. It seemed as if it accompanied you to Pakistan to ameliorate the burden of the sin.
This was the story of how we reached a failed nation to become the citizens of a failed ideology and to commit ourselves wholly to the purpose of ruining the sister nation it envied. The sister I happened to love.