Thursday, May 19, 2016

Missing Person Report

Missing Person Report

When you went missing, Nilofer, we didn't think we had anything to do with it.
We thought of accident, rape, bodies in dumpers. We visited Deonar, Nilofer,
to describe hair parted down the middle and flesh of eighteen, twenty, just in case
chunks of flesh was all they could find. We thought next of men, of boys.
Each unaccounted smile we remembered in your eyes, we caught it on the street
and roughed it up. We did a count of heads that had turned. We printed posters, Nilofer,
with your name and face and all our phone numbers and then we chased that trail
of paper across six suburbs to say, again, in two new languages, that we were still fretting
over a girl who would not return. Then we thought you would just come back like a mewling kitten
in the monsoon. And then we were suddenly tight on cash and anyway, we had other things to do.
You stayed missing. We thought if you cared enough to return, you would. And you should. After all
we did for you... and then we began to think about what we did to you when you went missing, Nilofer.

- Annie Zaidi

This poem was first published in an anthology called Indian Voices: Volume One

Monday, May 09, 2016

Law abiding citizens

It is curious, this idea of who is a law-abiding person and who isn't. There is a crush of voices around me talking about how 'we' are law-abiding and how 'these people' don't follow the rules. The more interesting question is, which set of rules? It got me to write this comic for the Mint (May 7, 2016).

Do read it here:

Tweets by @anniezaidi