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Different Kind of Game

January 20, 2014

The field is a death maze for even the bold,
A missed step, a stumble and men hurtle down.

By Alokparna Das

poem

Who’d rather hold a cricket bat instead of guns,
Are now marching at their Motherland’s calls

We watch them play, we watch them fight,
Glue to our television sets.
Two brethren nations test their sporting might,
How vicious can a game of cricket get?
But in an arena quite out of our sight
Games grimmer are being played yet.

A game more gruesome, a game more gory
A game far grimmer than a game of cricket,
A field so treacherous, a clime so hoary,
Standing at guard on the border picket,
A game of death, some call it glory,
Dying to save a more precious wicket.

The field is a death maze for even the bold,
A missed step, a stumble and men hurtle down.
Carrying burdens to fight both enemy and the cold,
Fighting to save the nation’s crown.
Each, a hero, with a tale untold,
Muted by the cloak of battle, a bloodied gown.

Some players are yet to see 20 summer’s suns,
Who’d rather be within safe walls,
Who’d rather hold a cricket bat instead of guns,
Are now marching at their Motherland’s calls,
Who are bowled out while making their runs
Bowled out by a spray of steel balls.

Majestic Himalayas, looming higher and higher
In a range the white peaks spread.
Impassive mounds, indifferent umpire,
Don’t you blush as your feet turn red?
Red from the flood of the flowing blood
Of the players who drop down dead.

Each player a son, a father, a friend,
Onward bound after a fond farewell.
The sad goodbye, maybe this is the end,
To greet mortar, and cannons and shell.
Onward, onward, onward to defend
Our paradise that’s now turned to hell.

Will it be regained, our lost paradise?
Or will this be a sport fought in vain?
Will just victory in war suffice?
What about the prolonged pain?
The pain of loss in the beloved’s eyes,
Grief-filled, tear-stricken, that will always remain.

This poem was first published in Meghdutam.com (between 1999 to 2002)

 
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