Not My City by Taslima Nasrin

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This isn’t the kind of city,
Once I called my own.
The city belongs to foxy politicians,
Unscrupulous traders, flesh racketeers, pimps, loompens, rapists,
But this cannot be my city.

The city belongs to mute witnesses,
To rape and murder but not to me,
The city belongs to hypocrites,
Feigning nonchalance to the sight of destitute,
At slums and beggars dying on the avenues of the rich.
This is the city of the escapists,
Who at the slightest premonition of a peril,
Make the hastiest retreat.
This is the city of the spooks
They stoically sit on the piles of injustice;
Here they go into rhapsodies,
Over the question of life after death.
This is the city of the soothsayers,
Agents of self-aggrandizement, opportunists.
I can never call it my own city, never.
Liars, cheats, religious bigots abound in here;
In this city, we’re a handful of men and women
Armed with logic, liberal thoughts,
Voice against injustice,
Live in beating hearts.
Not my City.

[Translated by Sujal Bhattacharya]

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