At The Line

The snow of Kashmir erodes his heels,

He neither winces, nor shivers, nor feels

The atrocities of nature.

For they are nothing compared to man:

There’s no end to what evil he can

Dream, create and nurture.


Down at the capital, a few learned men

Decide together how many and when

He ought to kill and mine.

Though, given the choice (a poet said),

He would rather be friends and merry than dead

And not fight over a line.


Visions of grandeur, high patriotism,

Sacrifice of life for dead heroism,

For a country behind him.

Ignorant of his hardships, sufferings and strife,

His parents and people, children and wife,

Indulging in her whim.


A soldier bleeds from head to toe.

He knows not what he ought to know.

He must see more than what they show.


September 2011


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