Why do I still serve you?

A May 24, 2008 picture of Indian President Pratibha Patil courtesy The Times of India newspaper
A May 24, 2008 picture of the Indian President Pratibha Patil. Photo courtesy ‘Times of India’

How you play with us, did you ever see?
At Seven, I had decided what I wanted to be;
I would serve you to the end,
All these boundaries I would defend.

Now you make me look like a fool,
When at seventeen and just out of school;
Went to the place where they made “men out of boys”
Lived a tough life …sacrificed a few joys…

In those days, I would see my “civilian” friends,
Living a life with the fashion trends;
Enjoying their so called “college days”
While I sweated and bled in the sun and haze…
But I never thought twice about what where or why
All I knew was when the time came, I’d be ready to do or die.

At 21 and with my commission in hand,
Under the glory of the parade and the band,
I took the oath to protect you over land, air or sea,
And make the supreme sacrifice when the need came to be.

I stood there with a sense of recognition,
But on that day I never had the premonition,
that when the time came to give me my due,
You’d just say, “What is so great that you do?”

Long back you promised a well-to-do life;
And when I’m away, take care of my wife.
You came and saw the hardships I live through,
And I saw you make a note or two,
And I hoped you would realise the worth of me;

but now I know you’ll never be able to see,
Because you only see the glorified life of mine,
Did you see the place where death looms all the time?
Did you meet the man standing guard in the snow?
The name of his newborn he does not know…
Did you meet the man whose father breathed his last?
While the sailor patrolled our seas so vast?

You still know I’ll not be the one to raise my voice
I will stand tall and protect you in Punjab Himachal and Thois.

But that’s just me you have in the sun and rain,
For now at twenty-four, you make me think again;
About the decision I made, seven years back;
Should I have chosen another life, some other track?

Will I tell my son to follow my lead?
Will I tell my son, you’ll get all that you need?
This is the country you will serve
This country will give you all that you deserve?

I heard you tell the world “India is shining”
I told my men, that’s a reason for us to be smiling
This is the India you and I will defend!
But tell me how long will you be able to pretend?
You go on promise all that you may,
But it’s the souls of your own men you betray.

Did you read how some of our eminent citizens
Write about me and ridicule my very existence?
I ask you to please come and see what I do,
Come and have a look at what I go through
Live my life just for a day
Maybe you’ll have something else to say?

I will still risk my life without a sigh
To keep your flag flying high
but today I ask myself a question or two…
Oh India…. Why do I still serve you?

by Indian Army Fans who have chosen to remain unidentified

Holding gun, Indian President Pratibha Patil envouraging army men
The caption by The Times of India in the above picture
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12 Comments Add yours

  1. rupali gupta says:

    I agree with RS…. i would go a step forward and say that if the situation cannot be improved let it not worsen…neither do I need accolades nor so i want favours.. .. .. ..mujhe chod de mere haal par , tera kya bharosa aie chaaragar , ye teri nawazishen mukhtasar mera dard aur badha na den…

  2. This is especially powerful for someone from outside of India to read, because it could just as well have been written by an American soldier or, I suspect one from many, many other nations. We all have plenty of politicians and leaders who find it quite acceptable and natural to build up big armies and demand all sorts of sacrifices from each member of them, and yet instead of honoring and supporting them, turn around and leave them untended, unsupported and unrewarded.

    1. G says:

      very well said. recognition to the defenders of the nation and its borders is long overdue in most of the nations. it’s pity that the defenders of faith and constitution eat all the cakes given the pedestal they sit on, despite our soldiers being the real heroes.

  3. I can feel and understand the anguish, having studied at a military school and still not choosing armed forces as a career.

  4. Well portrayed sense of betrayal being felt by our Jawans on the border! Hope your well weeded words make some dent in cold blooded hearts of our politicians….. done a great favor Gee!

    1. G says:

      THANKS A LOT sandeep……… not my words though.
      im just a messenger.
      its very well written. sitting here we never realise their condition and noone can speak up. So here it is.
      Let’s hope for the best.
      Thanks.

  5. RS says:

    India shining…why should I not shine too; seems to be the crux of the above. Without meaning to, in any way, downplay the role of the army, India is shining due to economic and political progress albeit in a secure atmosphere provided by the army. However it does not mean that the businessman, policeman, banker, teacher, actor or policy maker is not doing enough for the country.

    Of course there is betrayal of trust, promise and security. By hooligans,politicians and the powers that be. Old problem – who shall guard the guardians.

    There is a need for everyone to get their due. The army, police, local leader, professor et al. Who is finally left to give this due?

    Let us all learn to recognise that all of us are contributing to India shining. Some more, some less. All need to be given their due – we all need to learn to give.

    And finally, this doing/giving equation can only be sorted by education and awareness. A recognition of others, a dignity of labour. Some of this education may not come from books!

    1. G says:

      Very well said RS….
      Thanks.

  6. Dana says:

    … a beautiful poem!

    1. G says:

      Thank u Dana…….

  7. awakeningpsyche says:

    it connects deeply with strong emotional words, beautifully carved.
    and the truth is shown in each and every line of the poem.

    1. G says:

      Thanks a lot for making the effort to go thru it.
      Thank u for ur kind words @awakeningpsyche.

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