I confirm my fears
For the arbitrariness of words.
They might reveal my status:
That I am a religious person,
And only follow my fundamentalist religion.
I can hide my feelings though
Through a structure constructed by holy script.
I know all the answers-
Appropriate and argumentative to justify myself.
My country, secular, democratic, yet free,
And anyone can shoot me there
For being religious out of his free-will.
AMITABH VIKRAM DWIVEDI is assistant professor of linguistics at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, India. His research interests include language documentation, writing descriptive grammars, and the preservation of rare and endangered languages in South Asia. He has contributed articles to many English journals.
His most recent books are A Grammar of Hadoti (Lincom Europa Academic Publications, 2012), A Grammar of Bhadarwahi (Lincom Europa Academic Publications, 2013), and a poetry collection titled Chinaar kaa Sukhaa Pattaa (2015) in Hindi.
As a poet, he has published around 100 poems in different anthologies worldwide. Until recently, his poem “Mother” has been published as a prologue to Motherhood and War: International Perspectives (Eds.), Palgrave Macmillan Press. 2014.