He beats his 56-inch chest and thunders
I have done it!
The people rejoice
They cry out in joy

The educated and the cultured and the rich
The uneducated and the rustic and the poor
The middle-class upstart makes the most noise
The highest rate of armchair activists

So they forward messages of war cries
And let loose a volley of words for anyone
Who dares to question
This huge victory over the enemies

But do they ask themselves?
Who is the good; who is the bad
And who is the winner
The real winner

Chests can thump; messages can flow
Rights or wrongs or whatever
That’s not relevant
What is…is all about those few Bravehearts that give their nod, across all political barriers

As they guard the fringes of our geographical home
Laying down their lives, picking up gun and ammunition and armour
And going out there
To prove that we are the heroes and not them

To the sound of the clarion call
And the orders of the kings in power
They go marching, in heat, in cold, in icy storms
In the middle of the night, over cavernous mountains and seas

And they do it again and again
To sacrifice their fathers, sons, mothers, wives and daughters
Just those few Bravehearts
They are the men and women who answer with blood for blood cry for a Uri or Pulwama and God knows how many more in the waiting

Jingoism be damned
It is their victory today; not ours
And when they die a meaningless death, it is also only their sorrow
We simply stand and watch

And when the coffins come
Stand not there to receive the flowers and the accolades
To forward their pictures and to try and get a bit of that glory
It never was and never shall be yours or ours or mine

It belongs to that woman or man or child whose life can never be the same again
After seeing death in all its forms
Such is war, such is life
As we, the useless civilians stand and stare

To only say what we can; the only thing we can do
Jai Hind


Published by Tashneem Ali

Journalist. Author. Media Strategist. Blogger. New writer of fiction. Reader. Poet. Chef. Music lover. Photographer. Singer.

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