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Saturday, 19 April 2014

A Betrayal by Kunwar Narain

Pull him out first. Uproot his house
from its foundations
and make it stand on its side like a cot;
    then lift him up
    and place him
    on the closed door.

    He will be bewildered.

Tie his hands behind his back
and a colourful lie on his eyes.

    In all probability
    he won’t say anything.

For a moment
he will even believe
that it is in his best interest.

Now make a noose
with a rope taken from his own well
and place it around his neck like a necklace.

    Like a pitcher in a ritual prayer
    he will not do anything.

Tie the other end of the rope
to the old tree before his house.

    He will offer you his salutations.

Then ask him what he wants.

If he only wants to live in peace in his house
    quietly get up
    and open the door of his house for him.

He’ll writhe in agony.

But to writhe is not to make a plea.

He’ll soon be dead
    and there’ll be no difference between you and him.