Saturday, February 13, 2021


The cover of Annie Zaidi’s ‘prelude to a riot’ carries in red letters – ‘A white-hot novel about today’s India.’ White hot! Hotter than red-hot! Extremely hot!

Annie’s gripping novel, brilliantly crafted, is an edge of the seat read. In a peaceful southern town live three generations of two families, one Hindu and the other Muslim. In walks change, in walks Self Respect Forum.

26th January - The Debate with Arnab Goswami - ‘These people who you call farmers they disgraced our tricolor today… a group of rioters displayed their cowardice by replacing the tricolor with their own flag… attacking and beating women in the streets of Delhi. Let us introspect, why did we give these goons these rights… why are we allowing it, you and I… when we know if all of us come together we know how to tackle these anti-nationals… why are nationalist Indians quiet today…’

Self Respect Forum has planned a rally. The posters have appeared, including on the walls of Kadir’s Royal Bakery.

Abu to Farida – ‘Our grandfather (Dada) must be the only person in town who does not see it coming.’

Abu to Kadir – Simply put, the writing is on the wall. My wall. Your wall. Rahmat’s wall.

27th January – Arnab Announces # Nationalist Collective – We cannot allow anti-national elements to plunder our country anymore. Time for Nationalists to come together.

Dada’s Soliloquy – ‘A fuller moon than any that has ever been seen before in my stretch of sky. Blood-speckled. It is a true name, after all. Blood moon. I have lost.’

28th January late evening - Nationalist Collective reaches Ghazipur border protest site. Rakesh Tikait – ‘They are conspiring to kill the farmers here. BJP lawmakers are here, they have come here with 300 people with sticks and bullets.’

Garuda’s Soliloquy - ‘You will also hate yourself for hating me. Or maybe not. Maybe it’s a slow habit. This hating habit. It’s been coming along nicely, though.’ ‘No big colonial sword needs to come down and slash the fabric of the nation. Muscle by muscle, atom by atom, we are being torn from within. We are our own bomb.’

29th January – Singhu Border – Nationalist Collective gathers at the barricades. Security personnel choose to be part of it. After sufficient sloganeering of ‘desh ke gaddaron ko,’ the Nationalist Collective marches towards the stage of Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee. Stone by stone. Stick by stick. Teargas shell by teargas shell. We are our own bomb.


Abu to Devaki – Come home. Learn from my grandfather how to grow things. Dada can make rocks bleed green.



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Sukhdev Singh is milking a buffalo when I call him. We are speaking after a long gap. His voice carries the same cheerful energy I remember....