I wait for that phone call from across the meshed wires, that hang like broken bones on the body of charred borders. With his sugar-laced urdu, the dove greets me salam, He wishes me on Diwali, and sings the birthday song from distances forlorn. In our censored citadels, We conspire to commit peace, To wage a war with words of mutual love and solidarities. We tirelessly talk of brainwashing young minds, One letter at a time, one postcard in a pile. These scandalous postcards are ripped and scrutinized. Do they contain distorted maps; pass codes, secret passageways to enter the guarded mansions of hatred? These letters are grand schemes exchanged in crayoned pockets. These letters resolve to remove the stains of blood, gore, trauma, With an acidic recipe of two spoons of love, 5 tablespoons of peace, Tempered with a Bollywood track and a cricket match. Oh these young, dim witted uniform clad souls! Don’t they know? The debris of their dreams has been slit open. Their dancing dove was trapped in a darkened cell and broken. They call him a statistic — 200th case of ‘enforced disappearance’ No letters have since then escaped the silent stones of doom, The bones crumble and crack, and sing the symphony of gloom. Writer’s note: Raza and I never met, but our friendship has transgressed the divide of nationality and borders. When I was working as a teacher in a school in Mumbai, I started collaborating with Aaghaz-e-Dosti, an Indo Pak peace building initiative. The organisation connected me with schools in Pakistan to facilitate letter, greeting card and solidarity card exchange, and video conferences. I was introduced to Raza, when he was a volunteer at Aaghaz-e-Dosti. After the Gulshan-e-Iqbal blast in Lahore in 2016, my students wanted to send solidarity cards to the classmates and friends of affected students. Since then I continued to work with Raza on many India Pakistan collaborative projects and initiatives. Through our work, we became close friends and often talked at length over phone about art, cinema, politics, family, about nothing, and everything. Published in Daily Times, June 2nd 2018.