Not Like This | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 23, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:54 AM, March 23, 2019

Poetry

Not Like This

The wise their moments spare will spend

In intellectual recreation.

The foolish do that time expend

In vice, or sleep,or recrimination.


– Narayana 

They rose to the occasion,hearing 

The clarion call to free the nation,

United in a singular purpose.

Not like this –

Chasing each other with knives and

Sticks, thirsty for brothers’ blood.

They rushed to face the enemy – 

Hand in hand with all they had – 

Theist or atheist, man or woman.

Not like this – 

Robbing neighbors of life or honor 

For following their own bent.

They raised the green flag of victory

Giving their lives and limbs

Without craving prizes or profits.

Not like this – 

Lining theirpockets for their

Begums’ chambers in far-off lands.

Those who prevailed at Plassey

Drank life to the lees, daring beyond 

The utmost bound of human thought.

Not like this – 

Seeking solace in ancient myths,

Shackled to inimical habits.

If we wish to honor the brave souls

Who gifted us liberty, we must build 

Forts of knowledge and creativity.

Not like this – 

Burning buses and shutting books,

Freezing the highways and streets.

Ronny Noor is an English professor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, U.S.A. He is also the author of Snake Dance in Berlin, Slice of Heaven and Other Essays, and Where Heaven Spreads Wide & Other Stories.

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