And here lived, beneath the receding waters of Mangla, my people, once upon a time.
As her waters recede, and the green grass shimmers in the full glory of the sun,
we are taken back to the memories of our forebears, only just buried in our minds.
If you pay attention, amidst the eerie silence of her hills, you can hear children play,
enthralled by the smiles of elders, whose sons and daughters ploughed the fields.
If you close your eyes, you might just see them breaking bread as nightfall falls,
in homage to the labours of pious sustenance, they share memories of a past long gone.
And then they go to sleep, another night, another dawn, to repeat yesterday’s morrow.
Oh Mangla, what have you done to those vibrant villages and bustling market towns?
Panjab has her electricity; her Plains have their fertility, Officialdom has its royalties.
But we, the orphans of Mangla, scions of the soil, have dispersed, our hearts broken;
from the hills and mountains of our ancestral homeland, the breeze continues to flow.
As we wake up in the land of plenty, in the land of the free, we feel the easterly winds,
Mangla calls her dispersed children, she whispers in the Pahari tongue, hearts beat again.
From the loins of a forgotten people, of an age long passed, a seed now grows again.
From the old mill towns of England, to the offices of the South, the journey home begins
17 June 2018