A patriot’s story

January 28, 2011

On the border line wielding guns
Soldiers dropping like flies, one by one
Rifles roaring, fighter jets overhead
Troops marching where no one treads.

I ask a young soldier, all of 24
“What are you doing here amidst all this furor?
Don’t you miss your home, your comfortable life,
Your family, your friends, your new bride?
Can’t you hear your mother’s trembling voice?
Don’t you think you made the wrong choice?
Is your wife’s love not strong enough
To take you back to secure hometurf?
Why are you playing hide and seek with death
When you could be comfortably sleeping in your bed?
Haven’t you heard of the six bodies that were received?
And of the 66 others who have been declared deceased?
Don’t you think of how their families suffer
The pain of this loss that they carry forever?
Why do you want to hurt your loved ones, too?
Does their well-being mean nothing to you?

“Enough!” said he in a growling voice.
“What would you know about love? About life?
Love is not romancing a newly wed bride,
Life isn’t merely working from nine to five.
I am here because my mother needs me to save her,
To protect her, to guard her, to defend her.
I am here because my duty to my motherland
Is the first love of my life, for on her sands
Is encrypted the story of our strife…
She is being plundered, disrespected, and forced upon
She is carrying the burden of her numerous dead sons.
She is crying in helpless agony
She is fighting to save her dignity
They are hurting my mother; she is in woe;
They are killing my brothers, and mercilessly so.
And yet, you ask me why I’m here.
Where else should I be?
You tell me I am risking my life…
Isn’t she the one who gave it to me?
What kind of son would I be
If the comfort of my sofa meant more to me
Than saving my mother from being cut into pieces
By the enemy’s mercenaries and deceptive treatises?
These terrains are my homeland, these soldiers my family,
India my mother, and my life her property.
My brothers are martyrs — they embraced death with open arms
They died so that millions would be protected from harm.
I’ll be proud the day you’re able to understand
Why I hold this gun in my hand.
The day you know the true meaning of being an Indian,
And what it takes to fight for the honor of our motherland.

So spoke the young 24-year-old
My eyes were moist, my body cold.
He was betting his life, his future
His entire family
For the sake of protecting
Strangers from the enemy.
I couldn’t understand his patriotism
But I saluted him all the same
For his brave enthusiasm
And his assured claim to fame.
He was willing to run into death’s arms
With a smile on his face
All because he believed
He owed something to his birthplace.
Even he didn’t know
The what or the why
But he wouldn’t question
He’d simply rely
On the idea of patriotism
Nationality, and reverence
Because that’s how we form
Identity, belongingness and
A sense of allegiance.
I thank him but I also wonder
If we are not our own enemies
Forging boundaries and the idea
Of controlled territories
Why can’t we live in a world
Devoid of father- and motherlands?
Why can’t we take care of the earth
And be a true patriot of this land?

16081BD1A60533E0F1173D28DE4F0D3F A patriots story

dp seal trans 16x16 A patriots storyCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mansi Bhatia

You might also enjoy:

Tags: , , , , ,

4 Responses to A patriot’s story

  1. jerryNo Gravatar on January 29, 2011 at 7:58 am

    Well, why not? This I often ask as well. Humankind(including me)has a bent toward possession and defining lines. I believe one day the kingdom of heaven shall erase all these. In the mean time I so cherish the diversity of all Gods creation from this side of the line(sorry, can’t define existance beyond that).

  2. jerryNo Gravatar on January 29, 2011 at 8:00 am

    postscript…I really like the post by the way…very emotive.

  3. suloNo Gravatar on January 30, 2011 at 12:21 am

    Hi Mansi,

    Y’day I happened to write a big comment for this particular post. Apparently, I had committed some error in my email id and that’s it – I lost the whole comment. I was kina pissed that I didn’t feel like typing it all again. Today, however, I am in a better mood – I have double checked my id and it seems to be correct :D So, here goes – a shorter version of what I felt like telling y’day.

    I totally loved the post and was really glad that someone felt the same way like I did… especially cos of too much thinking about patriotism this republic day. If not the whole world, atleast a set of us have started to look at situations and at people beyond caste, region or religion; however, the same set of people intending to justify the concept of patriotism based upon one’s duty to motherland surprised me. I had the same question in mind, why cant we look at each of ourselves as this great human family and earth as this one big home – why to have distinctions or riots in the name of Indians/Americans/Pak, etc… I really hope pretty soon all this masking in the name of belongingness will go away for the better and unite us together as meant to be…

    I loved the lines –

    “I thank him but I also wonder
    If we are not our own enemies
    Forging boundaries and the idea
    Of controlled territories
    Why can’t we live in a world
    Devoid of father- and motherlands?
    Why can’t we take care of the earth
    And be a true patriot of this land?”

    That was like hearing my own thoughts in a more coherent and poetic way… thanks for that Mansi… I really admire all you artists who are able to write so well that I have fallen in love with words and English as a language… It never did appeal to me so much and neither was I an avid reader of any sort and English was just another subject back in school and college… And now I am falling in love :) Irony!!!

    You might wana read this –


    and this –


    Happy Sunday! :)

    ps. looks like the shorter version is not so short :P

  4. sajeev kumar menonNo Gravatar on March 31, 2011 at 5:27 am

    That is a nice post on our soldiers! They are the forgotten heroes who risk their lives so that we may be at peace!


More in poetry (5 of 46 articles)