Ode to Her


Ode to Her

Let her sleep through the lullaby sung by her Mamma

Absolve her from your pride, from fate and karma

Deliver her to the doorsteps which she can call her home

Immensity of her bravery on other people never prolonged

Fortiude that she had bitter life didn’t hurt her

Forcing her to move forward in storm

She is courage, She is survivor

The palpable sky on eve of partition couldn’t understand the grief which divided an ex-British Colony. The celebration turned sour when families had to leave their home and decide to be part of one of the two great nations, Union of India and Dominion of Pakistan. The family of my maternal grandmother was under the same dilemma being a Hindu family based in the city of Lahore. Both countries were painted red with blood and violence on innocent people. With the glare of harsh reality set up on many, friends and family couldn’t move forward with the so called independence. And many who did had to travel forward leaving behind the carcasses of their loved ones. On one of such days my Grandmother and her family waited for the passenger train which will take them from Lahore to Delhi. While the station was chock-full of people having no time to do more than worry of one’s own safety and look inquisitively at the guards doing rounds. None of these people noticed a toddler just 6-8 months playing gaily on railway tracks. Then moment of abeyance set in when the train was seen approaching making large rattling and hoot like noise. Suddenly cry of little baby sitting on track was noticed by many. I don’t know if she was the one closest or the only one who had the courage. But a girl of around 15 years saved the little baby while losing her hand in process. The little baby was her brother and the girl was my grand-mother. Was it the adrenaline of the situation which led her to do this suicidal act of heroism? Or was it just plain fright of losing one more person who was close? From the day my parents told me the story of her life as refugee, in poverty, marriage (to be saved from being “raped”), determination and fortitude with which she lived not only inspires me but humbles me too.

To me she is:“ The Angel who survived darkness”


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