Satis Shroff


Death Of A Precious Jewel (Satis Shroff, Freiburg) - Poem by Satis Shroff

A GURKHA MOTHER (Satis Shroff)

The gurkha with a khukri
But no enemy
Works for the United Nations
And yet gets shot at
In missions he doesn't comprehend.
Order is hukum, hukum is life
Johnny Gurkha still dies under foreign skies.

He never asks why
Politics isn't his style
He's fought against all and sundry:
Turks, Tibetans, Italians and Indians
Germans, Japanese, Chinese
Argentenians and Vietnamese.
Indonesians and Iraqis.
Loyalty to the utmost
Never fearing a loss.

The loss of a mother's son
From the mountains of Nepal.

Her grandpa died in Burma
For the glory of the British.
Her husband in Mesopotemia
She knows not against whom
No one did tell her.
Her brother fell in France,
Against the Teutonic hordes.
She prays to Shiva of the Snows for peace
And her son's safety.
Her joy and her hope
Farming on a terraced slope.

A son who helped wipe her tears
And ease the pain in her mother's heart.
A frugal mother who lives by the seasons
And peers down to the valleys
Year in and year out
In expectation of her soldier son.

A smart Gurkha is underway
Heard from across the hill with a shout
'It’s an officer from his battalion.
A letter with a seal and a poker-face
'Your son died on duty', he says,
'Keeping peace for the country
And the United Nations'.

A world crumbles down
The Nepalese mother cannot utter a word
Gone is her son,
Her precious jewel.
Her only insurance and sunshine
In the craggy hills of Nepal.
And with him her dreams
A spartan life that kills.


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Poem Edited: Thursday, February 10, 2011


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