Black and White

(No, this is not a poem

About racism;

Because in my country

It’s not that simple.)


When I was in preschool, they taught me


Red, blue, yellow, green.




When I grew up a little, I learnt

That black and white aren’t really colours.

White is all of them together;

Black is none of them.


This country’s favourite colour is black.


And black is waging a war on green.


Black is waging a war

On all shades of brown.


See, brown was never muddy;

Brown was chocolate

Freshly melted in a water bath.

Brown was a mahogany tabletop

Stained yellow with dal

But still            beautiful.

Brown was birch trees

Bending in the chaos of storm.


Black made it muddy.


Green was the seed of life itself,

Not              poison.

Green was freshly dewed leaves,

Green was overgrown moss

And grass not mowed in so long

It reaches to your knees.

Green was life.


Black made it poison.


This land, the land

Of a thousand tongues

And a billion mouths

Has tarnished all colours.

Black, non-colour that it is, is safe.


Red was bangles

Rolled onto a new bride’s delicate wrist.

Red is now the river which flows

From taps opened by knives

And iron rods.


Yellow was farms of sarson 

Dancing in the sprightly breeze.

Yellow is now the flames

Which engulf buildings and humans alike.


Blue was the infinite sky

Arching over this world.

The sky is no longer blue.


But there is a colour

Not marred, rather celebrated

On a pedestal, untouchable;



Black is not a colour

But it is India’s favourite.

And white?

White’s nowhere to be seen.



2 thoughts on “Black and White

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