Mother Writes to Indira Gandhi

The Hon’ble Mrs. Indira Gandhi,
Prime Minister, Murti Lane, New Delhi.
7 July 1975, Dear Madam,
How are you? What’s with this
Emergency? India’s star is
fading while you’re sexing guru Brahmachari?
A pilot bucklemeups in his sexjet.
Pompous rogue has intensified
wireless: whispering, murmuring:
shanti, ashanti. Indira Ji, please heed my plea:
empty the sky. Show your ire. Command him,
at once ceasefire. A woman’s
mind is no man’s land. I hang
my vaginarags out on a string — pale buntings
fluttering Kashmir’s fragrant breeze. My
husband remarried. She burps, yawns,
farts, is fertile and thick as two
planks. Will she leave him alone at dawn to write
his diary? Her two readymade children
call me, Big Mom: Bahdi Ami.
My husband says new wife will be
my caregiver. It’s tearing me apart, Madam,
and I’m again losing my mind. Faithfully
yours, Mrs. Maryam Jan, Raj Bagh
Srinagar, Kashmir ((India).

* * *

Indira Gandhi

Teen Murti Lane
New Delhi
30 July 1975

Dear Maryam Jan,

I am delighted to pen this in my own hand. “You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens,” says Rumi, but I wish I had said it, for after my husband died, I took solace in poetry to heal my bruised heart — a very hard thing to do, perhaps the hardest thing to do as I am learning myself. Many say I am mad. They have no clue about the fine line between madam and madness. You have your pilot, his sexjet. I have my guru who drives me insane. There is an insurgency in my own emergency with Brahmachari. Indians are unruly. Elite talk only of civil rights. No one thinks of responsibilities, for there are no rights without responsibilities. A dose of self-enlightened Madam Rule should give India pause. I wish I were there inhaling the fragrant breeze, for Kashmir is my ancestral home too.

Yours, Indira

* * *

By Rafiq Kathwari, winner of the Patrick Kavanagh Award, who would like you to read more epistles from his mother to the Prime Ministers of the World, here.