The color of the Earth that gave birth to me,

The color of me.

I am born of the revolution that stirred

The dust under my feet into a

Cacophonous independence.


I am ingrained with a history that has taught

Me to map out myself after two hundred

Years of submission.


I am watered with the values that have fought

To survive even as the world hurls past them-

I am everything my country has been.


Yet when my identity does not identify with

The one my soil has known, I get jailed

And my freedom- denied.


Betrayal now doesn’t only taste like section 377,

It tastes of my mother’s bitter words that question

My character because decades of prejudice

Have filtered down to her.


It tastes of an unnerving silence that screams

From within a tremendous hollow in me doubting

My worth and muting my confidence.


It’s feels like knowing who I am yet being

Apologetic for it till I realize that I am not

An apology that requires validation.


It’s everything that I have been taught not to be

By my country, the place I call home,

But still remain an outcast in.

Illustration by Aditya Nikalje

by Tania Mitra

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