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Monday, March 19, 2012

A picture does speak a thousand words!


Ten years ago...
I rubbed the ashes on my chest,
Life changed that day.
Leaving the grave of my belongings,
I walked far far away...
Red, white, black, green,
Colors of celebrations affray.
Streets screamed in blood red,
So I walked far far away...
Broken twigs of that tree,
My son asked me everyday.
Why didn’t I bring the tree along?
When I walked far far away...
A helpless name,
A lamented photo,
A lot to face everyday.
Like a common man,
I walked far far away...

In 2002, Godhra riots  brought the ugly side of our society. The photo above clicked during the riots by Arko Datta became the face of that tragedy. Qutubuddin Ansari, the man in the photo suffered a lot as people mocked him (However, www.gujaratriots.com claims that the photo is fake). In search of a normal life, he left Gujarat. This poem is an attempt to canvas his reasons and pains to move to another state.  Though, later he has moved back. Watch Qutubuddin Ansari's latest interview here

(Disclaimer: There are many controversies as to when and how this photo was taken. As a poet, I subscribe to none)

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216 comments:

  1. This picture brought tears to my eyes...it portraits the pain and sufferings...sorrow..indeed it speaks a thousand words..painful words...

    nice poem..ur words reflect the emotions aptly...i feel touched by ur poem above..

    Nice work! keep it up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This picture is heart wrenching. Thanks for reading Manju and welcome here...:)

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  2. I remember this picture so vividly. We can only imagine the pain and suffering this man went through or for that matter all the victims and their families of the riots.

    Really touching tribute.

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    1. True...Thanks for the comment Akshay. Hope you are doing fine.

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  3. a picture does speak a thousand words saru...! 'I walked far far away' ~ the repetition of the lines touches the heart very easily and the outcome is tears..

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    Replies
    1. Saru! This post is eagerly waiting to hear your words..

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    2. Thanks for your comment SIS and I will surely read it. Thanks again for the link...:)

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  4. this picture does speak a lot...i remember this pic like many of us do...we can just hope that Gujarat is doing good..i hear contradicting things everyday though..
    i actually have a collection of pics that have affected me in some way and this is one of them...may be someday i ll share them...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure, share those pictures with us. I hope we have peace all over...

      Thanks for reading Prateek!

      Delete
  5. Picture speaks out loud, how and what does the man felt. Indeed speak a thousand words, and it saddened and touches my heart,.

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  6. I have not read all your posts, thanks to my workload ( which probably is going to stay put for the next few years ) but as part of the privileged lot( the ones who are formally educated) we must speak more often on issues. You have done the right thing to do so here :)

    The poem, though, stands out not only because it is about an issue which changed the face our nation but also because its beautifully written - taking nothing away from the author :) Really impressive

    PS- was watching this movie the other day ( Mr and Mrs Aiyar ). Its a beautifully made movie too..also on the same lines.

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    1. We should write more about issues which affect us and world in general. This picture is painful and I always wanted to write about it. When I saw his interview, I can't stop myself from doing so.

      That is a good movie. Thanks for your comment Mishra Ji...:)

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    2. Pleasure is totally mine. You are a remarkably talented woman. God bless you

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    3. Thank you Mishraji for a huge compliment!!!

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  7. I can recall this picture was the face of riot and that time used by most of the leading newspapers n magzine. I felt very happy after seeing his interview..It was very shameful act and you have wisely n nicely penned down the pain n agony of people very nicely..After reading I am so touched...wonderful creation n wisely crafted...Keep rocking!

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    1. Yeah, this picture was all over and whenever we talk about Godhra Riots this is the first image that comes to our mind. It was indeed a shameful act. Thanks for liking the poem, Mithlash!

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  8. Pictures do speak a thousand words. Great poems speak a million.

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  9. Now that is something which was not only painful to the people of Gujarat but to the people all over the country.
    Nice composition..your words brought out the emotions clearly.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, it was really painful and the entire nation was ashamed of that tragedy. Thanks for liking the poem, Vinay...:)

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  10. Saru, this was very poignant like every human tragedy. The picture and words complement each other very effectively!

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    1. It was and thank you for complimenting the post...

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  11. The fact is, many more unknown Qutubuddin Ansaris are there in our country...

    Good to see you writing on social issues. That takes some courage, especially so, in case of controversial topics. Lets hope nothing like this is repeated ever.

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    Replies
    1. There are endless cases which need our attention and I pray nothing like that ever happens to anyone...

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  12. True... Picture can speak the whole story without any word....

    Very impressive....

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    1. Yes, it surely can and thank you for reading...:)

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  13. it brought tears to my eyes - his interview - what he said
    and the poem is so deeply empathetic & heart-felt

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    1. Interview is indeed very emotional. Thanks for your comment Sujatha...:)

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  14. Irrespective of the story behind the pic this one depicts one of the many faces of humanity that manifests itself every now and then to show that we have not evolved intellect yet...

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  15. This is pure brilliance Saru! Such beautiful and heartwrenching lines! You amaze me every single time!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Upasana for a lovely comment!

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  16. pic hi sab kuch kah rahi hai ...............best work saru .

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  17. Powerful words that go beautifully with this heart-rending photo.

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  18. The picture is heart wrenching. Your poem has truly rendered his thoughts at that moment. Moving Saru.

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  19. Such an emotional story, u had describe in 'words'...and the pic is enough to tell the entire story....
    Saru di!! you have got some sort of charm...lovely effort..

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    1. Thank you so much Hemant. You just made my day!!!

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  20. Riots were really inhuman ... Many people have suffered and continue to suffer . You rightly put their suffering to your words ..........

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Dhiraj for appreciating the poem...

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  21. oh my god. I couldn't help my tears when I saw the photo and the interview of the person. It is indeed sad to think of the plight of these people and the hardships they were subjected to. People might have different views but no one can deny the pain these people have had to undergo.

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    Replies
    1. True, Ash...We can't even access what pain they have grown through...

      Thanks for reading!

      Delete
  22. this picture is the epitome of the human tragedies..
    it penetrates deep down.. n your words add more depth..
    very moving post !!!

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  23. Even though living far away you are still connected to the issues which rock India-nice! & a sensitive poem too .

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Indu, I am Indian and will always be...:) :) :)

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  24. Silence is eloquent,
    sometimes Speaking is more eloquent than Silence..
    Without controversy a creative poetry.BOL

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    1. Thank you so much Sir for your comment and wishes...

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  25. Remarkable poem & heart rending picture.

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  26. I fail to understand how on earth can any "human being" in good senses deem it "fake". Pain is etched in every feature of his tormented face and you've brought it out so well in this forum Saru..
    Kudos to you for this verse :)
    God bless you. :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Puji for writing so well here and appreciating it:)

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  27. Amazing words Saru.. The picture really talks thousand words. The look of the man in this picture is so heart wrenching..

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    1. True, Sonia. Thank you for reading...:)

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  28. The first victim of any war or riot is innocence. Godhra riot is no exception to this..........a great tribute in the form of a poem. I salute you!!!!

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    Replies
    1. You said the most appropriate thing. Thank you for a lovely comment Ram.

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  29. I don't know why can't we behave like humans! It is ugly and disgusting that humans cause such a harm and pain for each other. Man made tragedies are the worst!

    Wonderful lines Saru. You aptly brought out both the wickedness and helplessness in our society.

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    1. No one can understand that, Harsha. Thank you for reading and appreciating the poem.

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  30. This picture always sends chills across my spine :(

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  31. This brought some memories of the 1984 sikh riots and I dont know why such issues have erupted or how can a human do this to another human .. pity

    although in both the issues there has been one common factor.. which i would not say as intellignet people would know ..

    AT least this man returned back, whereas the 1984 sufferers are still homeless ..

    Bikram's

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    Replies
    1. It was a painful era. I still remember what many families faced. Such tragedies are a black spot on the face of society.

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  32. Million words of intense pain and suffering. Picture and the poem put together.

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  33. I have seen this picture many times and every time it breaks my heart and my belief in humanity. Your poem is a very touching and painful tribute. "Why didn’t I bring the tree along?" - I wish no tree (or human) was never uprooted from its home.

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    Replies
    1. I wish so too Raj. Thank you for reading and for your comment.

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  34. very good and emotions portrayed in the right manner....it is good to write on these topics taking the incidents, pics from real life...i liked it:)

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  35. picture is synonymous to the poem..Saru

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  36. Very emotional pic and your words exactly depicting his feelings..

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  37. Touching photo and poem. Well done!

    Hope you have a blessed week.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Tania. You too have a great week!

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  38. A very touching poem,brought tears in my eyes,I could feel the pain... :(

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    1. It's very painful, Rekha. Thanks for stopping by...:)

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  39. A single picture that speaks of human loss and pain. Your words describe it touchingly. Wondering why on earth we fight over religion...

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    Replies
    1. Seriously, why we do that? Thanks you for your comment dear!

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  40. great poem

    this photo will be an icon against violence

    thanks for sharing

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  41. I remember the picture, its speaks a million words. The pic is so intense and captivating, thanks to the person who took this pic it really reminds us that we are yet to move forward for a better tomorrow as a country...truly touching lines Saru...very well worded.

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    1. We have a long way to go as a country. Thanks for liking the post.

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  42. awesome....awesome...awesome....Saru, no words....
    hamara naman aapko...........

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  43. this is a fantastic write....Thank you for sharing

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Shamsud for reading and liking it!

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  44. powerful picture, amazing lines! Really touching..

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  45. This picture is a true depiction of sorrows people went through in the Gujarat riots! Sad part is that we seem to have forgotten all that and moved on in life! Its true - in India, we don't value human life!

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, we don't seem to care. Though, it's a sorry state but it's true.

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  46. I remember this picture. Beautifully crafted poem Saru. It was a heart wrenching time, still is to look back. One cannot imagine what people must have gone through at that time.

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    Replies
    1. We can never imagine what those people might have gone through. Thanks for liking the poem, Richa.

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  47. for everyone nothing quite screams about the horrors, nightmare and bloodshed of that riot like this one picture is. there's no way anyone can walk away untouched by this photo.

    thank you for the post..

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    1. You wrote everything in one sentence, thank you for that. :)

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  48. THE TRUTH OF GODHRA RIOTS WILL I DOUBT WILL EVER COME OUT... ITS CRUEL AS HUMANITY DIED EVERY SINGLE MOMENT ON THE DAY AND FOR ANOTHER FEW MONTHS... NICE POST, KP IT UP...

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  49. the photo that i can't look at for 5 seconds,,you gave words to it..i respect you for your courage.
    you poem was picture in itself..and i can't say anything that it truly deserve.. it's too touching for compliments..

    lastly..thanks for the link..i didn't know such website existed...
    i don't care with the controversy..even if it's fake..it shows the emotions of thousands who never got a click before they surrendered to worst human nature..

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    Replies
    1. I agree, without caring about the controversies we should think about the people who suffer in riots. BTW, Gujarat Government distributed CDs along with India Today issue that time. I can never understand the word politics.

      Thank you for reading and appreciating in such a nice way!

      Delete
  50. Wow. You are quite the inspiration.

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  51. truly a moving image with meaningful lines..

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  52. The photo is as moving as your words...sad that we use a human's loss to signify a tragedy, but such is life!

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    Replies
    1. The gravity of any tragedy is indeed measured in numbers and alas! such is life.

      Thank you for reading Suruchi!

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  53. I was speechless after seeing the picture and your writings. Flawless writing

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    1. Thank you so much Latha...:) It's a very encouraging comment.

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  54. this pic made world wide waves ,the man in the pic lost his job and the society boucot him out of fear.Now a days he stitches clothes from home ,basically has got into tailoring.he got so traumatied that all these years he searched for the man who photographed him ,the photograph that chaged his life.v recently a meeting was arranged between him and the photographer who spent spent some time with him and answered all his questions . he seemed at peace after that...this is not a fake pic,i saw his interview ..the pic was shot while he was pleading to the cops to save his family.

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    1. I'm not sure about this story as Arko Datta knew him and he was a tailor by profession. Anyways, we can't confirm the story. You are right about the picture and thanks for taking the time out to read and comment.

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  55. Some people suffer a lot, but they do not get the right amount of attention or care needed. Such ventures can prove a ray of hope... Thanks for the wonderful read Saru!

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    1. I wish I can do something for people in need. Thank you for reading Anoop :)

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  56. left speechless 10 years ago , now too seeing the picture.....
    and your poem reminded me of the situation too....

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  57. Beautiful poem, Saru...

    Really touches the heart; brings out the emotion.

    One can only imagine what Ansari must have been through... Was the movie Khakee somewhat based on this man's story?

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    Replies
    1. I don't know but it sure has some resemblance. Thank for liking the poem Vishal...:)

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  58. Very touching.. disturbing as well! But the poem really seems to tell the story of his/their life/lives!

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  59. Replies
    1. Thank you, feels good when your efforts are translated properly.

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  60. That picture churned my heart..!! Such a grown up man begging with his hands clasped what a pity!! The poem was very touching..

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    1. Picture is indeed very moving and thanks for liking the poem Gayathri.

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  61. Your words touched very deep.

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  62. How many innocent lives get affected by religious fanaticism? When will followers realize the essence of their religion?
    Thanks for sharing your beautiful poem

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    1. Countless and history can vouch for that. I hope soon people realize the essence of religion...

      Thank you for liking the poem...:)

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  63. Haunting picture, wonderful verse....

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  64. The Face of the Riots! It actually brought tears into the eyes of many!

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  65. Very touching dii.... very sad... :) Well written

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  66. Hello Saru.
    I find this photo very moving..those look like real tears to me! Very thought-provoking post. Thanks for sharing.

    When you get a chance, please vote for me over at Bloggers.com

    The Beloved

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    Replies
    1. Hi Andy,

      Those were real tears. He was begging the army to rescue his family. I will surely do that.

      Thanks:)

      Delete
  67. Its one photograph that will remain indelible in the memory of many.

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  68. Hi,
    I was in college during the riots in Gujarat and this pic from the newspapers never left my memory. Nice post!

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, I was in college too and this photo was all everywhere. In the papers, magazines and on the net. Thanks for liking the post...

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  69. Lovely poem, sadly beautiful.

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  70. Those eyes..It's as if one can feel the pain. The way people suffered, is just heart breaking.
    Great piece! :)

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    Replies
    1. I'm in Gujarat now. People are still scared.

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    2. Oh, that's sad to know. But such events have life changing effect on people. Thanks for reading dear...

      Delete
  71. I have known and read about the controversy..
    communal riots have always had drastic effects on our society!The 93 riots in Mumbai was just equally terrific.
    beautifully penned .The poem actually speaks all that in the picture

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Every such tragedy is heart wrenching. Sadly, our country has a lot of history of such events. Thanks for liking the poem...:)

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  72. Thnx saru 4 penning down 1 of d bitter truths,d society suffers...bm also happy 2 see 159comments each 1 able 2 understand dat pain in d eyes of dat man as recently on fb there ws sm news regarding cancellation of a petition by a court..d petition is filed by a muslim lady who has lost her husband in riots..i ws totally broken 2 c d comments which speak all crap..full of communalism praising 2 punish d muslims..i wonder,,is dis d real india..v speak of national integrity nd so on bt..:(i didnt felt pain as me too a muslim bt bcz ppl r losing faith in humanity..life is nt dat cheap dat ny1 can b killed nywhere..all dose who died during riots,to whichwever religion dey belong to,all of dem were humans..d pain cause to their familes was walso equal,no less,no more den y ppl talk suc crap..i jst wish dat ppl shud respect HUMANITY...Ameen

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    Replies
    1. I agree, we are humans and we should remember that. I always feel if there we are not separated into three pieces (India, Pakistan and Bangladesh) it would have been much better. A line on the map has caused so many problems. And since when religion permits you to kill...

      Amen to that noble thought!!!

      Thank you for reading Sir...

      Delete
  73. After reading this poem and watching the video, I actually rread everything about the incident and what led to it. I wasn't aware in detail about this mishap!
    The picture is so full of words, and converys such a strong message!!
    I think you have done justice to this pic, by writing this poem! Hats off!

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    Replies
    1. This picture is fixed in the minds of many. It's painful too see humans suffer in the name of religion.

      Thank you for reading and appreciating the poem...:)BTW, how was the Goa trip??? Waiting for Goa diaries...:)

      Delete
  74. The pain is gripping just like your poem Saru. Its been long still the pain can be felt... Very touching, beautifully penned poem Saru.

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    1. Thanks a lot Arti...This photo is very moving...

      Delete
  75. Such depth is conveyed here, Saru, in this touching poem. You bring out the reality of suffering as felt on that day. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you Ananya, means a lot to be appreciated by you.

      Delete
  76. This one makes me sad. Such pain some people have to endure.

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  77. reading u for the first tym... but can say ur thoughts are high...heart touching lines.....

    if ur interstd plzz visit my article on godhra hope u can feel the crux of this...


    http://tamanna.jagranjunction.com/2011/09/22/gujrat-riots-2002-and-sabarmati-express-set-on-fire/

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading and sharing Tamanna. Will surely do that. :)

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  78. Pics alone speaks a volume..it moves me !

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  79. Beautiful poem and a silent yet so verbose picture. Im moved

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, picture is the hero here and thank you for liking the poem.

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  80. beautiful..
    even after so many yrs, thinking about godhra brings tremors..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It sure does...

      Thanks for reading Dwiti...:)

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the offer. I will give it a thought.:)

      Delete
  82. OMG, this picture truly speaks a lot.

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  83. Powerful, pervading and honest.
    Very well written.

    Even though I am not in a position to say this, for some reasons, I will.
    ..pardon me for trying to overreach -

    The poem along with the picture say a thousand words in silence. Incoherent yet crisp, vivid yet unassuming...I think the description makes the surreal look ordinary and anticipated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so happy to read your comment both as a reader and as a writer. It gives me immense happiness when someone as intelligent as you lands on my blog.

      Welcome here and thanks for writing a beautiful comment.

      Delete
  84. i remembered this pic and most of the people have different opinion on what happened in godhra in 2002
    but i thouhgt what ever happened was not good

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, such events are black spots on the history of our country Thanks for reading Chirag.

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  85. Indeed the picture does speak thousand words.. Your poetic narration too have best complimented the photograph. Its disheartening to even imagine the pain these guys have gone through in life.. My prayers for them to overcome such disastrous situations!!

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    1. Yes Anand, it is beyond our comprehension to understand what they went through. All we can offer is our wishes and prayers...

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  86. Poem Penetrate my heart. More comments to this poem give more important to this poem. Beautifully written.
    Men are cruel, but Man is kind. ~Rabindranath Tagore

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    Replies
    1. Yes Sir, this quote from Rabindranath Tagore has so much depth in it. Thanks for liking and reading the poem.

      Delete

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