“Sea Breeze, Bombay” by Adil Jussawalla

Partition’s people stitched
Shrouds from a flag, gentlemen scissored Sind.
An opened people, fraying across the cut
country reknotted themselves on this island.

Surrogate city of banks,
Brokering and bays, refugees’ harbour and port,
Gatherer of ends whose brick beginnings work
Loose like a skin, spotting the coast,

Restore us to fire. New refugees,
Wearing blood-red wool in the worst heat,
come from Tibet, scanning the sea from the north,
Dazed, holes in their cracked feet.

Restore us to fire. Still,
Communities tear and re-form; and still, a breeze,
Cooling our garrulous evenings, investigates nothing,
Ruffles no tempers, uncovers no root,

And settles no one adrift of the mainland’s histories.

A partition poem which is also a Bombay poem. Partition’s people stitched shrouds from a flag ,a reference to the gruesome killings in the wake of the India partition in the name of nationalism and religion.Bombay turned out to be a migrants’ city and a commercial capital ,where communities break and re-form.Still Bombay investigates nothing (We have the example of the several scams and bomb blasts, riots and underworld killings),ruffles no one’s tempers and uncovers no roots.Above all, Bombay settles no one adrift of the mainland’s histories.

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