For most of us, home is a safe haven. It is where we belong, and where everything is familiar. But what if the place we call home is taken away from us? What if home is torn by strife and conflict? How do we come to terms with this reality? How do we satiate the need to belong somewhere, anywhere?
Not everybody undergoes this dilemma, and most who do can’t put it into words. Yet, some do just that with flair. This dilemma of displacement finds a voice through the works of Kashmiri poet Ayaz Rasool Nazki and Tibetan poet Tsering Wangmo Dhompa. In the session Poems Without Home at the recently concluded Bengaluru Poetry Festival 2017, the duo recited their poems and discussed where they stem from.
With a poignant, yet moving poem, Nazki described home, how it feels to be there, and what it is like to be robbed of it:
Let us meet somewhere,
it has been ages since
we sat on the steps
of the ghat and watched boats
ferry across loads of men,
women and children
all on their way to somewhere.
When natural calamities separate one from their home, the individual has no choice but to make peace with their situation. But when man-made conflicts rob the individual of their home, the emotional void it creates cannot be filled.