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‘Toba Tek Singh’ poem by Gulzar

I’ve to go and meet Toba Tek Singh’s Bishan at Wagah

I’m told he still stands on his swollen feet
Where Manto had left him,
He still mutters:
“Opad di gud gud di moong di dal di laltain”
I’ve to locate that mad fellow
Who used to speak up from a branch high above:
“He’s god
He alone has to decide – whose village to whose side.”

When will he move down that branch
He is to be told:
“There are some more – left still
Who are being divided, made into pieces –
There are some more Partitions to be done
That Partition was only the first one.”

I’ve to go and meet Toba Tek Singh’s Bishan at Wagah,
His friend Afzal has to be informed –
Lahna Singh, Wadhwa Singh, Bheen Amrit
Had arrived here butchered –
Their heads were looted with the luggage on the way behind.
Slay that “Bhuri”, none will come to claim her now.
That girl who grew one finger every twelve months,
Now shortens one phalanx each year.
It’s to be told that all the mad ones haven’t yet reached their destinations
There are many on that side
And many on this.
Toba Tek Singhís Bishan beckons me often to say:
“Opad di gud gud di moong di dal di laltain di Hindustan te Pakistan di dur fitey munh.”

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