‘Tricolour’ by Debadrita Chakraborty

Saffron stands for…? 
The yearly ritual begins—
The class roars. 
Thirty little born-frees waiting for a nod – a cue from her vacant weary eyes.
Three sixty five days of seventy three years on her mind.
She recalls the fate of every woman—
Since India’s tryst with freedom, 
Forced to pocket those fettered qualifiers—
The pepper sprays of performance and unfreedom
Courage in the streets at night, strength in broad daylight, 
Sacrifices at home to escape the acrid taste of her rowdy man’s might.

White for…?
From the far end of the room, a little boy languidly replied—
Peace and truth. 
He had lost both, 
The day he bartered learning with factory labour, peace with half-truths.
Whilst his mother dreams of his future bright— He who is an end to their needy woes, 
Those ink stained fingers now stitch patent leather shoes —
His criminal late nights garbed in a new truth. 

And green…?
The Green…?
A question.
Thirty empty stomachs could not reply. 
Green has names—
Some call it abundance, some faith.
The class had none.
For it hadn’t rained in three years—
And nothing had since been done.

Poet’s Bio: Debadrita Chakraborty is a final year PhD student in English Literature at Cardiff University. She completed her MA from Macquarie University with a distinction in Twentieth Century Literature. She has written academic papers making contribution to past researches on Postcolonial Literature, Gender Studies and Migration Studies.

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