Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Father of My Nation


That non-violent heart of yours

Tasted three bullets

Served to you by your sons

I am Nirbhaya*

Born in the land of Buddha and you

They didn’t even spare me

My spirit won’t rest till you are reborn


Thou shouldst be living at this hour:

Bharat*** hath need of thee



*Nirbhaya means fearless (girl). India does not allow publicizing a rape victim’s name so the 23 year old girl who was gang raped and brutally assaulted in New Delhi in 2012 and later succumbed to the injuries was given the name Nirbhaya.


**Bapu ji is father in Hindi. Mahatma Gandhi was fondly called Bapu ji by the people of India.


***India is ‘Bharat’ in all the Indian languages.


The last two lines are taken from William Wordsworth’s poem London,1802 only I used the word Bharat instead of England.


Posted for Susan’s Midweek Motif ~ Fathers@ Poets United


  1. nice piece liked it, Nirbhaya's name is public now after conviction of her rapists. Her real name was Jyoti Singh.

  2. WOW!!
    I love the image and thank you for defining terms and helping me/us to take in the culture with the words.
    Such a father would be welcome again. When I think of the girls that have to be fearless despite, despite ... oh! It is a dream that he could do much by himself. This father of care and non-violence needs rebirth not only in India but inside the hearts of everyone.

  3. Gandi was a great man -
    and perhaps in your hour of need another great person
    will rise to lead the way you know.
    A heart wrenching point by bringing in Nirbhaya
    and the comparison.

  4. This is a great tribute..!
    Well penned :)

  5. What a fitting name to give to that young woman...if only we treated everyone like they were precious...

  6. I can feel that this poem was written from a very deep place, Sumana! I agree with Susan - we ALL need such a father as Ghandi.

  7. friends, when you comment please leave your link for your poem as today owing to some glitches perhaps I am unable to see your links @ PU...thank you :)

  8. Oh wow...this is powerful. Thank you.

  9. Wonderful. Thanks for sharing this.

  10. How I love this! from the brilliant line drawing to the notes after. "My spirit wont rest till you are reborn". Yes, the world has need of another such as he. One in every nation, in fact.

  11. As Susan says, "thank you for defining terms and helping me/us to take in the culture with the words."
    This is a strong poem -good images - and its briefness echoes this girl's life.

  12. Love how this draws you in and you can feel the tenderness.

  13. Wow. What a many textured poem. I was really thankful for the glossary and how it drew me into the meaning of the poem. Fabulous work!

  14. Gandhi was a dangerous man in many eyes because he wanted to embrace everyone in his vision of India. People who move the world in the right direction are not always welcome. How each country needs their own Bapu ji. Sadly most politicians want to divide their countries.

  15. Non-violence can accomplish more at less cost, heartache and destruction. But the current trend is against all that Gandhi stood for. It is 'bring them to their knees'


  16. Yes some times our founders are needed again, at least in spirit.

  17. Sumana,

    I understand the sadness felt with the loss of such a leader. Mahatma Ghandi remains a guiding spirit, to those who fervantly remember and follow his teachings. A fine example of a father figure..

  18. Thumbs up for this!!! Suffice it to say that we are connected in more ways than one., Sumana!! A fitting tribute....on the father's day! Love it !!

  19. Ah, sad losses for your country, both.

    (And what a wonderful sketch of Gandhi, so minimal yet recognisable!)

  20. A nuanced juxtaposition of kindness and cruelty, thoughtfully and poignantly rendered.

  21. We need more goodness in the world ... a very deep poem.

  22. Wonderful writing, Sumana. The incident of the rape created waves of dismay and rage all around the world. Indeed, Gandhi is needed more than ever before in our troubled times...


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