The Arts

Poem: Statue of Unity [Thus Spake Sardar Patel]

At 182 metres, the world's / Full of insects. 

At 182 metres, the world’s
Full of insects.
I feel too distant from
What were once, my people.
I dressed too simply
For today’s prime ministers.
How can they know me?
I strove to secure borders,
Not hearts, like Gandhiji.
No border is secure
Among insecure hearts.
History is a mad elephant
That tramples over
The madness of men;
We could not secure anything.
There is no unity
If temples fight mosques,
If prayers are divided.
Unity is not a divided tree,
Rose for me,
Thorns for others.
You need to wound your
Fingers
To pluck the flower of love.
The past is a country
Of the dead,
You cannot wake it up
With harangues.
The dead are mourning
Their stubborn follies.
When you meditate,
You don’t want to hear
Lecture or praise.
You drove away so many
Of my people,
Those who help the Narmada
Breathe,
Those who keep your eyes
Green.
Do not make any statue
Commit such a crime.
The statue you built
Aiming the tallest, is the
Loneliest of all.
Neither the sun nor laser
Will drive away my darkness.
You measure my mettle
With metal,
That is just metaphor.
The farmers go hungry and
Dispossessed,
While engineers grow fat.
My shawl can’t hide
The woe of such unfairness.
If you could see with
My eyes up here,
The Narmada weeps
Below my feet,
Below the bridge of broken time.

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