Shalimar

BarbedWireThey said we were fine men,
we had fired blanks in simulated conditions,
ran our guts out on sharp inclines,
crawled in mud decked with barbed wire.

They said we were ready for battle,
to do our country proud, and one day,
we found ourselves stacked in a three-tonner,
its canvas fighting the speed of winter,

the faces were nervous, just as the fingers
on the trigger – the steel’s nip bullets in,
then, on a rutted road winding up a hill,
the truck paused to eject us quietly.

In the ink-blue light of dawn,
rifles on alert, we began to pan through
the blighted land; with our reason rendered
comatose, we went to war with our own.

Nobody saw the apple orchard shiver
as hell arose to tease the idea of heaven.

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4 Responses to Shalimar

  1. Meena November 16, 2011 at 8:17 am #

    hmmm……. a sad one, this. But true!

  2. Soni Somarajan November 16, 2011 at 12:30 pm #

    Yes, Meena, It could happen anywhere, anytime. 🙂 Thx.

  3. sulakshana December 3, 2011 at 3:12 pm #

    ask any Kashmiri Pandit about those horror years…it seems the horror just wont leave. My in-laws have been through it…so i see them reliving those moments of fear and anguish.
    My grandad had to leave Sylhet and all the family riches behind and move to India during partition…then he had to take his family and move once again sans his belongings and a flourishing business to Calcutta when his “home” in Assam wasn’t allowed to be his own anymore…he never lost his pride but he never forgot…i could see the anguish in his handsome face and his grey-blue eyes which had a speck of sorrow engraved in it…something i could never wash way however much i tried.
    I joined the NCC and earned a C certificate but I somehow couldn’t link emotion to a gun, not that i had to shoot anyone for real, but i guess if i had to, I’d inherit that speck of sorrow in grandad’s eyes…with a tear added.

    • Soni Somarajan December 5, 2011 at 8:39 am #

      Sulakshana, you have expressed it all in a very haunting way. I wish I could read more from you. Thx.

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