Tuesday, June 19, 2018


I throw away the shield
It is not going to be enough
I gather sword and spear
For the big war is here

The Nation has become relevant again
It is written on the wall, on every wall,
That I must heed the motherland's call

Every commoner,
On the right side of history
Must turn a soldier
Enough of the shield
Pick up the dagger

For we are at war
Against corruption, against terrorism
Against conversion, against communism

Against objectification of the woman,
Glamourizing of the demon,
Glorification of the invader,
And the enemy who is the insider

The war for the truth
Of inequality of religions
Against the false claims of secularism

The war for hideous, uncomfortable, discriminatory truth,
Against the cosmetic gloss of political correctness

The war for the firm grip of the absolute
Against the elusiveness of slimy mucous relativism

The war for eternal certainty
Of the mathematical equation
Against non conformance for it's own sake,
Born of blind hatred for tradition

The war against
A woman's essence over-simplified
To blobs of flesh and painted hide

A war to rescue the 'Feminine'
From hijacking by 'feminism'.
To liberate women
From the penury of their loin cloth,
Lead them again to yards of yarn
From the womb of the mulberry moth.

Patriarchy lies not in the home,
Nor kitchen, nor lasting umbilical scars
Look, it is patriarchy swaying in pole dances,
And strip clubs and topless bars.

Oppression sags not from the loose bosom of a nursing mother,
It stands firm in the silicon of her calf, glute, cheek and udder.

Sure it hurts, in the cracks and corns
Of a hand doused with washing powder,
But it kills through creams and lotions,
That the miss world sells hard and harder.

They want dirty pictures not to be censored?
Ah, just so their own voyeuristic supplies are not interrupted.
For which father will hold his new born daughter,
And wish, one day my little angel will be an adult actor!?

The war to assert the anthem and the flag
As Break India voices swell and swag
The war to replace pellets with bullets
To cure the wayward son of another mother
The war to find for the nation, a better father
It is for all to see, on that bald head,
The moss of shame gather
The war to break the statue of the pillager
The war to recover the child of rape

The war to strip history
Of it's honey and sugar coat.
War, not to raise,
But to rip the carpet.
Sweep out from its underneath,
Jaws, claws, fangs and teeth
Scattered bones, severed heads and pyramids of skull
Mount them on tombs of pink sandstone and smooth marble
Torn out intestines and gouged out eyes
Make of them, garlands and festoons nice
Use them to light up our ruins, barren and desolate
If not lost glory, for their true story, they long and wait
Renovate our monuments for a tour of nostalgia
Of perfidy, treachery, incest and genocidal mania

The war to clear the fog, show the underdog
That his false enemy is his true friend

The war to end tolerance
After a hundred and one crimes

The war to end freedom
To carnivorous religions
Prostitution of the press
Students turned rogues
Losers turned heroes

The war to save the Holy cow
from the jaws of dog lovers, pig lovers
Snake lovers and crocodile lovers

The war to expel misplaced wars
From people's home to the battle zone
From cracker sparks of a festival of lights
To smoking wheels racing into late nights
From sunset powders
Of a festival of laughter and colour
To the deafening bleat
Of sacrificial goats and bloodriver

The war against the selling of the gospel
And the business of charity

The war to enthrone pluralism,
Of a hundred Gods and a thousand idols
Against the tyranny of the mullah and the pastor
Who shove the shadow of their only god, jealous
Down the mouths of all men and nations
Through contraptions most obnoxious

The war to end
From the blaring loudspeakers,
The beseeching curse to bring
destruction upon idolators
The war to sound bells,
Conches, trumpet and bugle
In true prayer, 'May happiness come
To all your people'

The war to set free the Supreme Deity
From shackles of formlessness and anonymity.
Seat Her on a lion
Or fly Him on a Peacock
Adorn with flute and feather,
His statue carved in rock.
Place upon his torso an elephant's head
And then seat all of that on a python bed.
Dress Him in riotous silk
Float Him in an ocean of milk.
Bounce Her as a river
Off the slopes of a mountain
Or turn Him to a plant
In a clay pot of your garden.
Tie the Universe to his umbilical cord
Or turn Him to a naughty thief,
A mere village woman's ward.
Heap a mountain on His Monkey,
Of shoulders broad
Let Him grace any place,
That to him with devotion, you accord

The war to save their souls
from the faith of self flogging
Of sin, repentance, confession and gloom
Teach them to celebrate this gift of life
Taking in their stride, any inevitable faraway doom

A war against self loathing, and self deprecation
The war to take shame where it really belongs
From the one in a million Nirbhaya
Of the Indian capital's dark
To everyday naked girls
In Times Square of New York
From the impoverishment of the illiterate Indian slum
To the educated gluttony of the obese American plum
From the pot belly of the fat Brahmin
To the perennial pedophilia of the Christian pastor

The war against false equivalence
Of the sword and the shield
"Both weapons of war"
Of the marauder and the defender
"Both dealing blows"
Of the cow and the crocodile
"Both children of God"

The war to claim an ancient kingdom
From the clutch of a witch, her broom,
The mute zombie, the blathering moron,
The joker-villains, their bootlickers,
That pet dog, his claw,
And that diabolical son in law

The war to eliminate the hand
that will steal and toss
All our gold to a faraway cross
To bring back from erosion
Our soil and our slime
To a Lotus that will turn into glory
Our sweat and our grime

The war to coronate
Not the perfect one,
But a common erring human
For aren't the others beasts,
Vampires readying for feasts?

Through the illusion of many wars,
there is but only one war
The war for Dharma,
against everything that isn't
And every commoner
Farmer, sailor and cobbler
Must turn a soldier
Enough of the shield
Pick up the dagger.


I wrote this poem at a time when I was running from pillar to post, from a gazetted officer to the corporator, for my voter ID card which I had never had before.
By 'pick up the dagger', I mean to ask people to pick up their voter ID card and go to the polling booth to vote.


Nikhil said...

True to the word we all must live up to our sovereignty...!

Sachin Singh said...

Intense! Rhyme, meaning & fire! Uthishta bharata!

G S Prasad said...

Having read most of your older posts, I've understood almost all the references you've made. Quite daring.

Arjun Kodaikal said...

Once again as is your wont, you have written an Ode. The meaning is intense. Appears as if you have put everything into it. Your existing innate talent for writing is eruptive & explosive. Only hitch- There is not much rhyme.& it is too long. But it appears that maybe, you are at war with yourself? ����������������������������

Sowmya Chakravarthy said...

Thanks all for stopping by and reading the rather long poem. The first draft was completed in 4 hours. I polished it a little bit everyday over 2 months, adding more ideas, more paragraphs and ten to bring in the rhyme.

Yes, Sachin - there is much fire within and it shows in the poem.

Prasad - I hope even those who haven't read my earlier posts will understand the references made in this one. The atmosphere is so charged with politics and religion, that everyone has been familiarized with the landscape and its characters

Arjun - Those of us at war with ourselves alone are alive, the rest are as good as cattle, isn't it?

VishalC said...

I am in awe of this masterpiece! It covers such vast territory of core issues facing us as a nation and with such courage and clarity! We will do something in our own small ways but Sowmya, please do justice to this and share it with specific people who can make a bigger difference. Somehow reminds me of Anand Math sadhu soldiers. Vande Mataram!

Srikanth G said...

Good one Sowmya. You have covered various (may be all) aspects hindering our country's progress. I can feel the concern and angst in your words.

Sowmya Sundar said...

Thanks Vishal. That's a great compliment! Do share the link with your contacts. It was written in a moment of inspiration. It's amazing what inspiration can do to us and it's important therefore to remain in the company of people who inspire us and in surroundings that inspire us.

Thanks Srikanth.

Sirisha said...

Why did I not read this earlier? Wonderful poem, from the heart. We all feel this agitation in our minds. Time to get our act together. I like the way you expressed about feminism. Great work! This poem must go places

Chandra Mouli said...

Hai Sowmya. Looks good. neat and clear on Nationalism. Polished and manicured. You have poured your woes. All of us undergo a phase when we get inspired.
You have done your duty with diligence and tried to influence others. Trust its taken in the right spirit