Om Chawla

Bronze Star - 2,297 Points (India)

That Traumatic Year [1947]- Recollection And Reflection - Poem by Om Chawla

{Part 1 of the poem is a narrative of my experience at Lahore where I lived before migrating to Delhi on partition of the country in 1947. I was not even 12 Years of age then. Part 2 of the poem is a reflection on the historical past}
Dark it was that moonless night
On the rooftop, as a child
As I lay that summer night
Dazzled by the flames of fire
I jumped up, in grip of fear
Burning houses, burning humans
Shrieks and wails growing louder
Louder still was gun fire
What followed was sheer frenzy
For three days and four nights
We witnessed the worst of savagery
Half realizing the gravity
Looking at one another in perplexity
We would not know, what happens next
Fear in the day and awe at night
Humans being burnt alive
Shrieks and cries rending the sky
There were flames all around
Burning houses we would count
No escape from fiery hell
No fire tenders, no medical help
Curfew bound deserted streets
Patrolled by colluding fanatics.
On fourth day curfew was lifted
We fled the city in search of safety.
On the way were scenes of horror
Sights that made us shudder;
Severed heads, mutilated bodies
Abandoned, stinking non cremated
Lucky in crossing partition line
A sigh of relief on survivance
Rendered homeless cause of annoyance
Much though I wish I cannot forget
Traumatic was the year when yet under twelve.

Years later when I studied history
Realized that had been the fate of my country.
These marauders came from North-West
Under Ghori, Ghazni, Nadir, Abdali
These monotheist fanatics
Looted wealth, molested women
Butchered men for days no end
Temples they plundered and desecrated
Repeatedly these perfidious bigots
Mauled my land of multi-faith tolerance
Continuously they still hound us
Humanized, when will they be.
Polythiest beliefs govern us
Bigotry does not attract us.
I fear some day our tolerance may fail
Violence it might then entail
Sufferer would then humanity be
Sadly including our progeny.

Poet's Notes about The Poem

Mahmud Ghazni invaded India 17 times during 1000AD-1026AD, looted immense wealth, plundered and destroyed our temples; Mohamad Ghori invaded several times during 1178-1194; Chengiz Khan [1221]; Timur {1398]; Nadir Shah [1738]; Ahmad Shah Abdali several raids [1748-1767]
The mughals came under Babur in 1526 and established their rule
which lasted for over three hundred years.

Comments about That Traumatic Year [1947]- Recollection And Reflection by Om Chawla

  • Dinesh Nair (11/23/2013 8:57:00 AM)

    The narrative style of this poetic piece has got enough food to brood over and the authenticity of the episodes has its own gravity that makes one read on the whole piece. Thank you sir for sharing this.. (Report) Reply

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  • Valsa George (10/28/2013 12:50:00 AM)

    It is unfortunate that as a child of twelve, you had to witness such a gory scene and be involved in such a traumatic experience! People who are fanatics and bigots spill blood of innocents and convert our land(once serene) into a battle field of violence and blood shed. The mass agitation at the time of partition is touchingly described! Great Write! ! (Report) Reply

  • David Wood (10/26/2013 6:34:00 AM)

    History has a habit of repeating itself, we must strive for a peaceful world after all an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. A good write. (Report) Reply

  • Patricia Grantham (10/23/2013 7:37:00 AM)

    Your poems is written with expressions full of unrest and
    turmoil. Unfortunately there are groups of people that does
    nor care for freedom or any type of diplomacy. I have never
    experienced this type of turmoil on a larger scale as you have
    but may have went through a different situation with more subtle
    undertones. In the words of this famous song of deliverance/We
    Shall Overcome Someday/! An excellent poem that evokes deep
    thoughts. Well done.
    (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Poem Edited: Wednesday, October 23, 2013

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