By Muskan Tibrewala
My father taught me when I was four years old that we greet everyone with,
My mother’s sweet voice, put me to sleep as a kid with the lullaby,
Ram Sita Ram, Sita Ram, Jai Jai Ram
My grandmother read the Ramayan to me when I was nine. Reciting the hanuman chalisa and lighting a diya every day, because she said it would help me do well in school.
rāma lakhan sītā sahita hridaya basahu sura bhūpa॥
As a teen, I sang bhajans in front of guests while my family watched me proudly,
tu antaryami, sabka swami,
he Ram, he Ram
When I was fifteen years old, I spent all thirteen days of my grandfather’s funeral writing Ram in red ink in empty cells in notebooks that would be buried with his body,
Attending a meeting on “Nafrat ke Khilaf” as a first-year college student, which recognized the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition, I learnt for the first time what was being done in the name of my god,
“Ram ke Naam”
Reading, watching, learning, and developing conflicting feelings for what I grew with. Understanding what meant love and devotion to me, is now the weapon and marker of fascism and bigotry,
JAI SHRI RAM
Muskan Tibrewala is a fifth-year law student at Jindal Global Law School.
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