We wait…

7/12/71 it is heard, the siren of the night


we rush back into our burrows,

hollow compartments dug into the streets,

and sometimes an unclassified basement

made, in the otherwise grounded houses,

a little light lamp is all we have as

we wait, waiting to know what

is conspiring, pondering over

the question, whether there is

going to be a war in our region,

I have clenched my mother’s saree,

it is plain cotton, no embroidery,

as she has her eyes shut, and her hands folded,

invoking the blessings of gods to keep them safe,

and to hurry the sun-lord to rise,

and make it seem right in the brightness of day,

the men gossip their trades, still important

to be discussed, and sometimes I could catch

their hesitation, of talking about

the war, spreading through every border,

marked by silence, more shrill than

the temple bell… kids cry, as the illumination

of the lamp dims, due to lack of kerosene,

and we wait… we wait in our bunker,

shadowed by our unaware selves


we are waiting in quarters in candle lights,

waiting for the order from high command,

pondering whether we would also face the war,

a new package has arrived of artilleries, there

is a rumour, that the enemy would try to seize

the territory nearby soon, but we have to wait

and think, muse within our minds, I wonder

what my new born is doing back at home,

she would be nursing him… may be and

that brings a smile across my eyes,

I should, I must write a letter but what

would I write, my mind is frozen,

it is getting cold and colder, December

winds are piercing… ruddy thorns into

the skin and, that has made me thinking

of those hiding in the city, below the ground,

unknowing, blind to the action-less night,

may be there would occur nothing, and may be

things will be normal soon, I can hear my

comrades scratching their unshaven face,

and that gives me an itch in my coarse beard,

and I wait as others are waiting, the siren has

ceased its solemn tune, and someone switches

on the light… flickers and then is switched on,


and we wait…


years have passed, calendars have changed,

there was that war of 65 and 71 and also of 99,

and I wonder how many more wars would be waged,

there has been trouble at the borders this year,

the cease fire was compromised and I wait… wait,

with a hope that it would not happen again,

and just think of the stories told to me… and

in this black room, at this moment, I reflect

her expression as she had shared her tale, while

chewing over her tongue, the bell for the period had rung


A little explanation required for the ending… the tale of girl told from the beginning is inspired from the experiences shared by one of my teachers about 8 years back. She had told of her war story, of the underground compartments and that has paved the way for the poem… so the end marks the time when she had narrated it to her students. The wars are real but the narration is fictional… rather I would consider it imaginary because I have imagined the setting during the war of 1971 because of course, I was not even born then. If you are confused about something or if you have any questions, please do ask.

I was thinking of writing something about it but then, I was also inspired by dVerse Poetics prompt of Calendars today. I haven’t used the theme explicitly but of course, the time and calendar has a lot to do with it.

This is tagged as the post for 24 November for NaBloPoMo.

And before I forget, I wrote a guest post for Yeah Write, dated 23 November, which you can read here.

*The date in the first line is written in the format of dd/mm/yyyy.

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