Kids Corner


After a Genocide in Delhi







Kirpal Singh’s hair, Nirmal Singh’s hair.

Don’t mix the locks, she says.

One of them was my husband, and the other my brother.

But you can mix and unmix my sons’

hair. Satwant’s naturally curly strands. My Jaswant’s so black

and long, it touched his knees, and my ladla Joginder,

his face would glow

like orange fire when my fingers braided the gift

he got from God.


College-students, all three, nearly six-feet tall

and only a year apart from each other

19, 18, and 17.


Daughter Jaskiran, smiley face

our family beauty

She made one last 

acute attempt to scream. Poor girl

she was shivering

November, you know baytah, is bitterly cold

I gave her a phirozi shawl

but it became lal hi lal.


When I woke up…

My eyes could not understand

Why I refused to see

What they had seen


Tell me sinister Prime Minister

how long does it take

for rubber to burn fully?

Does it burn slower than a human body?



Jaspreet Singh’s latest novel, Helium, is published by Bloomsbury.

April 1, 2014

Conversation about this article

1: Kaala Singh (Punjab), April 05, 2014, 6:33 PM.

Some 500 years ago, these are the very people whom the Sikhs saved from extinction. The Sikhs saved them from the fiendish invaders hell-bent upon destroying these people and look how they paid us back in 1984. Recorded history bears testimony to this fact. 1984 should be an eye-opener for all Sikhs. The myth of "flesh and blood" relationship has been blown. 1984 should teach us that our values are different, our path is different, our destiny is different. No more embroilment with these guys, we must tread the secure path of Sikhi if we are to achieve our rightful place in the world.

2: Kaala Singh (Punjab), April 06, 2014, 6:53 AM.

One of the major reasons why this genocide happened was economic. Sikhs had become prosperous due to their hard work and work ethic and that did not go down very well with the majority who expected a small minority to be subservient and impoverished. How else would you explain the looting and destruction of Sikh-owned businesses and the occupation of their properties during and after this pogrom? Many Sikhs were forced to sell their properties at throw-away prices or for nothing and then these properties were registered under the names of the "new owners" with the help of conniving Govt. officials. In a country where 80% of the population is starving, a small prosperous minority is an easy target.

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