Peace and Post Offices @ BYOB Party in July 2017 (Part 6)


Apurba indulged in poetry with the book The Country without a Post Office by Agha Shahid Ali. This Kashmiri American poet was the recipient of the Guggenheim and Ingram-Merrill fellowships and a Pushcart Prize, and his collection Rooms Are Never Finished was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2001. His poetry collection is a haunting inditement of the plight of what he remembers as home, a desolation called peace. Apurba also cited an essay by Amitav Ghosh, a touching tribute to the poet, something you must bookmark and take the time to read for the sheer beauty of the person the words pay tribute to and the words themselves.

They make a desolation and call it peace.

when you left even the stones were buried:

the defenceless would have no weapons.

When the ibex rubs itself against the rocks,

who collects its fallen fleece from the slopes?

O Weaver whose seams perfectly vanished,

who weighs the hairs on the jeweller’s balance?

They make a desolation and call it peace.

Who is the guardian tonight of the Gates of Paradise?

My memory is again in the way of your history.

Army convoys all night like desert caravans:

In the smoking oil of dimmed headlights, time dissolved- all

winter- its crushed fennel.

We can’t ask them: Are you done with the world?

Other books that deal with conflict that were mentioned were Curfewed Night by Basharat Peer, Our Moon has Blood Clots and Hello Bastar by Rahul Pandita, Samanth Subramanian’s This Divided Island and Joe Sacco’s graphic novel Gorazde.

Conflict zones tell the same story world over.


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