When the bombs go off and there is blood all over the TV,

he’ll be sitting in some human corner of the world,

drinking his tea, stunned by the impersonal reach

of his act, just as you are by how far this screaming thing

has travelled - translated by distance into helplessness

at being dumb witness again to the guts-spilled-open

suffering of random strangers.

And this is how we realise the world’s grown-up -

by knowing that the act of twisting a knife

inside the warm heart of your enemy on a summer night

is far too local a measure of your loathing, while to kill people

you do not know and will never see is to speak a language

of the universe that can be relayed on the TV.

Anjum Hasan is the author of Lunatic in my Head.

Write to lounge@livemint.com

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