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Lessons in World Geography

Maaz Bin Bilal ( 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 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.


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.


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.


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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