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Lessons in World Geography

Maaz Bin Bilal (maaz.bilal@gmail.com) teaches at the Jindal School of Liberal Arts and Humanities, OP Jindal University.

.

The Indian adolescent was now learning the geography of his country through the history of murder.

—Khushwant Singh, late 1960s.

I

I was five when 9/11 happened,

A plane flew into a tower, then one more

into another, I asked mother if it were

a video game, she said, no, that’s the Big Apple.

II

By six I knew Kabul, Kandahar, Herat,

and Bamyan, and closer to home Godhra, Shopiyan,

our Amdavad, although these I heard more than

saw (mother won’t allow me to watch TV), still

I could locate them all on the map.

III

By seven opened a whole new world:

Basra, Najaf, Baghdad, Mosul.

An evil man was being hunted here

by the GI Joes he was pinned like a rat.

IV

Over time our TV kept telling me,

Of Syria, Sudan, Gaza, and the Somali,

Today I am twenty-one and have a degree,

(Mosul’s just been redeemed),

but I did not need one in geography.

 

Updated On : 1st Dec, 2017

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