Editor's Choice
Theme: Divides

Mapping the Partition

He just had seven weeks to divide
The British holdings on the Indian subcontinent,
To slice the wheat fields and factories
With his ivory pen and brass alidade
Into two incompatible countries.

He came in the muggy heat of July 1947
Bringing a failing eyesight and 1931 census
To reduce the geography, latitudes and magnetic directions
Of the Punjab and Bengal
Into two cosmologies.

A man in a hurry he occasionally overlooked
Waterways, irrigation canals,
Demographic concentrations
And used his fantasy and imagination
To reduce reality to relevance.

Even after sixty-two years
We reposition the past
And draw those lines once again
With a cartographer's imagination
Waiting for a denouement.


More By  :  Mukesh Williams

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