Poem: Ram ke Naam

Painting: Sukhpal Grewal

By Muskan Tibrewala

My father taught me when I was four years old that we greet everyone with, 

Ram Ram

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,

Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram
Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram

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,


Muskan Tibrewala is a fifth-year law student at Jindal Global Law School.


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Cafe Dissensus Everyday is the blog of Cafe Dissensus magazine, born in New York City and currently based in India. All materials on the site are protected under Creative Commons License.


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