Lest We Forget Who We Are

Sand Art on India’s Independence Movement by Manas Kumar Sahoo

Lest We Forget Who We Are 

We are the offsprings of the brave-hearts
Who lost their all, only to bounce back
From their ashes over and over
To build it all over, time and again

We are the descendants of the die-hards
Incessantly bound by shackles of foreign rule
Bent by years and years of slavery, their
Self-pride crushed as they took the beating

We are inheritors of the DNA of the brave blood
That ran in the veins of our folks who never gave in
Gave their lives instead, never bowed their heads
Shook the imperial rule, got back their lost dignity

We are the lineage of the fighters of non-violent wars,
Of pacifists who freed our precious motherland, and kept
Our glorious nation and heritage alive, and we can
Never ever thank them enough, for giving us this life

We are the living testimony,  as we carry in our hearts
All the gory details of the grim tales, narrated to us
First hand, by all the scarred souls who had survived.
Now time to pass this heroic story, to our coming tribes

© 2017 Alka Girdhar
All Rights Reserved

————  ———–

I wrote this poem on the 15th of August, 2017, the 71st Independence day for India.

Seventy years gone since the freedom struggle that resulted in self-rule. This fact also means the generation that went through the harrowing as well as heroic times during years of freedom struggle, is now either very old or not there anymore. Quite like that of holocaust. It has also been similar for early Australians who came from the UK and from other places – the gold diggers, the imperialists, the traders and the convicts. They were themselves a living history till they breathed their last.

Hence, it’s very important that young Indians get as much information as possible from those who are inevitably going to leave this world soon.  It is also equally important for us to chronicle this information, as these are family histories we need to pass on to our coming generations.

Just another fact about my above poem. I wrote it late in the evening on Independence Day hence did not publish it on the 15th of August. Next day I felt it was a bit late to publish it.

But when today, on the 17th of August, I came across a picture quote, I changed my mind. The quote was a satire on our short-lived and rather hyped up patriotism.

The quote said in Hindi:  “Main desh-bhakti  hun, ab main phir sone jaa rahi hun.  Mujhe 26 January ke din jagaa dena

Translating it loosely:  “I am patriotism/nationalism.  Now I am going to go back to sleep again. Do wake me up on the 26 of Jan 2018”

Like the 15th August, the 26th of January – India’s Republic Day – is another day when Indians all around the world celebrate the day and show patriotism by unfurling the flag, enjoying cultural activities as well as festive food.

But the above quote suggested that at all other times throughout the year, most Indians forget to exhibit or appreciate patriotism.

And that made me think. So what if Independence day is over! Why should I hesitate to post this poem just because it was meant for the 15th of August!

The essence of my poem is relevant throughout the year and we should have freedom to say out our heart esp. about things that matter.  That is all about independence.


Author: Alka

Writer, poet, artist and social activist. A former educationist and radio anchor, I've also worked in the public service, banking and IT. In my blogs, you will find my original poems, short-stories, and long articles on variety of themes - particularly social, motivational and inspirational. Music, art and photography are my other interests that I often integrate within my writings.

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