Shaw shook my belief in patriotism Hence I could belong, but to myself And no one could paraphrase for me, My grandfather’s agony
Never could I understand why Daarji would water his photo albums every Friday Until I found out his midnight cries weren’t about patriotism or belonging to Pakistan It was about Bilal Ahmed All the bed time stories his coarse voice shared began with Bilal
Bilal and I would read aloud Manto under Kikar trees And hence I played a part in the play Toba Tek Singh Bilal and I would wear our fathers’ white caps and kesri turbans and exchange them often, looked handsome you know And he dressed me up as a hippie on my fancy dress day Bilal and I delivered people’s postcards, Until we lost addresses. So I dug a tunnel for him. When devils on earth’s floor forbade love The devil inside me took me underground To build a tunnel for love And I kept digging until my shovel hit another shovel When the mud fell not to unveil more mud But a little boy in a white cap, Building a tunnel.