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Shekhar Kapur's tribute to 26/11

January 23, 2009 10:26 IST
Last Updated: January 27, 2009 18:07 IST

Shekhar Kapur
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Filmmaker Shekhar Kapur [Images] took up Mumbai's [Images] cause, as he penned a moving poem about the terror attack on November 26 last year. Titled simply, Goodbye, my love, we feature the poem here, with kind permission from Verve magazine.

As she left her womb,
thrust out by a violent birth
i knew that she and I
were destined for the most
intimate of all relationships

time stood still
as I watched her
inexorably sail towards me
so she and I would join
in one final embrace
to complete an event
born in eternity

for since the first explosions
that formed the universe
and the first metals had been created
she and I had been preparing
for this one event

how may forms must she have taken
how many hands must have shaped
her and how many eons must have formed her
and how many men must have used her
before she left for this final journey
between me and her

as I looked around and saw
the head of my friend's daughter
explode, the blood sailing outwards
and the drops, finding their own individuality
falling on the table cloth, astonishingly
in the most even geometric pattern
and yet as I looked up
she was still travelling towards me

I said my silent goodbyes
to loved ones that could never be part
of the intimacy with which
the bullet and I would meet
in one final embrace

I looked at the eyes
of the young man
that held the rifle
that had exploded her out
to her final journey

do you know me, young man?
as you avert your eyes
so casually looking for your next target
did you think of me?
of who I might be
of my loved ones
or yours?
do you not think
that in the sheer carelessness
of this one event
that you and I now know each other?
that we will be tethered together
forever too?

your life as altered
as has mine
as has
all those I love
and who love me
I want you to remember me young man
I would hate to be someone random
that you had no interest in
but the need to squeeze the trigger
occupied as you were
with thoughts of greater glory
of martyrdom
in your own inevitable death

yet you were the mere instrument
one small cog
almost insignificant
in the bullet's journey towards me
as we finally meet
the anticipation of pain
never coming
as the embrace of death
flowed through my body

goodbye my love
if only I had known
this would be the last time
I would see you
I would have touched your cheeks
looked into your eyes
softy caressed your hand
looked back and smiled
and tried to make time stay still
just for a little while

but little did I know
that the bullet and I
were destined to finally meet tonight
after waiting an eon

Shekhar Kapur, film director and producer, has directed films that have been nominated for and have won Academy Awards (Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age). He has also directed movies like Masoom, Mr India, The Four Feathers and Bandit Queen. He lives in Mumbai.


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