Saturday, April 10, 2010

Forgotten Men

We need to treat our heroes a lot better. The plight of our soldiers, sports-people, freedom fighters and artists, after they have served the country proud, is deplorable. They are dumped unceremoniously without means to live decently. Ustad Bismillah Khann's story will bring tears to every reader's eyes.

“Channa jor garam!”
“Channa jor garam!”
I jolt back to the garden seat
Out of the blue hits my senses
The smell of the spicy channa
Stirring up old memories
The almost forgotten ones.

“Channa jor garam?”
As my eyes start to refocus.
I see before me a man
And I see lost glory,
In the broad shoulders
The nose broken in three places
The face scared scary
Bumps on wrong contours.

“Channa jor garam?”
I pull out money to buy his story
As he sits down talking to me
I realize he is not broken
As broken as his nose but
Broken he is in a corner of his heart.
A famous boxer he had been
Who in rings has seen many a rounds
Medals after medals
He had won for our mother India.

“Channa jor garam!”
The heat of the channa I feel
As it burns my tongue.
I also burn inside my heart
For the many like him.
Broken men of honour
Who made the country proud
Pride and glory of the country
Now just a forgotten story.

“Channa jor garam!”
“Channa jor garam!”
I hear his cry from this far
I wonder if his sad story
Has any more listeners today
But I am happy I stopped to listen
For with me I take away
A minor bit of his sorrow.

© Nalini Hebbar/openmind/2009 - all rights reserved
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Artist RamyaSadasivam said...

Nalini, nice poem. I like the comparison, he is not broken as broken as his nose. Even I write poems. Give them a try.

Pramathesh said...

We really need to learn to honour our heroes.

Prateek said...

sau mein se nabbe beimaan, phir bhi mera desh mahaan!

Jai Hind.

Chandni (Chanz) said...

HI nalini.. you have been tagged...

Tulika said...


It exudes greatness simply.
Appeals the very soul.

Vinita Apte said...

Thought provoking poem.

Who was that guy? did you get a name?

Anonymous said...

Very thought-provoking! I agree, we certainly need to better honour those who have done India proud.

Rajendra Raikwar said...

Nice One!