This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Solstice Black, is from The End is Not Apocalypse by Another Morning Where Everyone Tells me I'm Dead by Tanya JADE VINE Singh, released by Yavanika Press in 2021.
Content warning for genocide, death, and violence.
The end of the body is where it begins
Frenzied mobs of young Hindu thugs, thirsting for revenge, burned Sikh-owned stores to the ground, dragged Sikhs out of their homes, cars and trains, then clubbed them to death or set them aflame before raging off in search of other victims.
– Simran Jeet Singh, It’s Time India Accept Responsibility for Its 1984Sikh Genocide
In 1984, the attackers had set Sikh homes, shops and gurdwaras on fire. One of the most brutal tactics was to “garland” Sikh men with tyres and set them alight.
– Sonia Sarkar, From 1984 to 2020: A tale of two “riots“
It starts with a gunshot, then another, then another. They come like firecrackers, the night sky illuminated. Behind the door, my mother keeps telling me to come inside, her voice small, and I do. I want to make something happen—I like the idea very much and not the real thing. They don’t know what to do with my body, they never do. I’m a believer of hyphens and pauses, little mercies. I kneel before the mirror and say my name aloud. I want to make dying look easy. Then look back as the music fades into applause. The city holding a city within, its people stretching to the horizon. Look, the game’s over before we know it. You’re pointing at the silhouette of a dead boy, his turban loose from all the relentless aching. When the light falls, it falls right into the space between ellipses. Here’s the doorway to hell and no one to welcome you. It doesn’t have to be the end of the road, you insist, and I agree. It doesn’t have to be the end of the road but it is.
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