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Of Brits & Parathas -- poetry by Samaira Mohunta

shocked that I could even talk in a language

other than Hindi, you said, oh, you’re taught

English in India now? no, we’re not. we still

fall down on our knees and lower our heads

every time an English passes by because we’re

still the same Indians who aren’t allowed to

enter places that dogs need to stay out of. that's

what you wanted to hear, right? but let me tell

you a story, professor, a story that you’ve most

certainly not heard even once in your last 25 years

of teaching. there was a 12 year old girl who loved

to write. she wrote about semicolons and societal

expectations and smiles. science fiction and murder

mystery were the two genres that she had never

been able to grasp quite properly and so she

decided to go to one of the most prestigious writing

courses that the world had to offer. she did learn

something from there but not something she’d

expected to. she learnt how to write a poem about a white

man who probably didn’t read about how the country he

had once seized was now flourishing and free. so i said,

professor, thank you, thank you so much for teaching

me how not to write a good science fiction story. I

wrote something better anyway. maybe now you,

too, will go down in the torn pages of British history.


Samaira Mohunta is a 15 year old Indian writer studying in grade 11 at The Shri Ram School, Moulsari. Her notes app is a refined romanticisation of her feelings; writing helps reduce the magnitude of emotion she sometimes feels; it makes her happier. She runs a litmag called NovelNomenal. Her work has been published by Scholastic and is forthcoming in Filter Coffee Zine & the Gaia Lit magazine.

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