Vishnu Vardhani Rajan

The immigrant song.

Strangers are made.
Strangers in every shade.
Strangers are unmade.
Strangers in ascendant order arranged
Strangers from the right brigade
Strangers from the beginning commanded
Strangers at the end fade
Strangers weighed
Strangers are crows; with a collective noun, murdered
Strangers in company of strangers bled by blunt blade
Strangers, a familiar figure yet afraid
Strangers like myself I recognised
Strangers I say hello to and they say hello to me too in the cavalcade.


I wish you rest. So you can -
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Fight with your two pollices!
Fight the police!

Fight the policies!
Fight until all have the right to sit!
Fight for the toilets!
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Fight with your two pollices!
Fight with a song!
Fight with a dance!
Fight against the norms!
Fight the neuro typicalities!
Fight with your pen!
Fight with your needle!
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Fight with your two pollices!

If the eyes shine while hands soil
If you complain and no one affirms you
If stories are replaced by theories
Even if many lines are dead
If you permit yourself to poke fun at me at my expense
If hitherto Hit her to
If smile is a sign of stress
If happiness was more a concealer
If joy is a burden and laughter is inappropriate
If dangerous art could be made with a pencil
If I cannot even express it to myself ‘
If you can lose even if you do not play
If the obsession to succeed leads to incessant failure
If failing is only for the privileged

If her fight against the privatisation of land and water isn't just one in Punjab, Telangana, India
or south asia,
If only I embrace your understandings with my whole heart in a relativistic world,
If you paid me a rupee and I paid you a euro
If the past is lost not just as time but also as a place
If the answer comes only when a question is asked
If the question will never be asked
If you read about slaying dragons, while I read about safety shelter and home,
If you ask me ‘BUT why do you live here?
If I am hysterical, disorderly, ungovernable, a danger to myself and others,
If he left out the part that reflects the question of HOW ELSE ? if not this, I should have
If my right way to grieve may not be lawful here ?
If creativity anxiety and sadness were inseparable sisters
If you scribble it flew away below the question ‘Our national bird is...?*
If it took us stepping into this land to embody the outsiderness
If my gloomy quotidien was put on a pedestal with a tag - Artists at Risk
If Olen Kettumainen Mamu
If intelligent educated people are less ideologically tolerant
If Socialist part of this story rings of a legend, a narrative than a political fact.
If the business of documentary film making relies on the inability to say no
If I do not die tomorrow
If today is the first time I didn’t feel alone.
Gorgeous I was with all my imperfections.
Imperfections that were mere projections of those gazing upon me.
If your smiles are the garment I wear.
If I got one care woven garment, that protects me from the days in the valley.
If your company carries me to the mountain peaks.
If I thank Ye for the heavy brown-crown,
If I wore it as if it were a feather and smiled,
If there is strength in their heart, determination in their eyes...
If they were a warrior, a bitch, a lover, a child, a daughter, a sinner, a saint,
If indeed they do not feel ashamed.
If they knew the shame belonged to no individual to begin with.

If it’s JUST an other #noshame

Vishnu Vardhani Rajan is a Body-Philosopher. They enjoy writing poetry composed also to read out aloud. Their poetry envisions a space for experimental word play, often a pastiche, to operate between different languages.

Images by Genietta Varsi and sara blosseville. Many thanks to Taiteen edistämiskeskus (Taike) for supporting our feral series publication.