I don’t entertain you within or outside the borders
I just save you, the Nation and her borders.
I don’t dance and sing and entertain a country
I die or kill to protect my country.
I don’t thrive on adulation or on fame
I thrive on valour and action is my game.
I don’t care for earning in crores
I care only for the blessings of my countrymen, whom I adore.
I don’t protest against the Government for the flimsiest of reasons
I obey their command even if it means risk to my life, every season.
I don’t look good because of makeup or clothes
I look best when the soil of my land is smeared on me in swathes.
I don’t appear in headlines when I win awards or am gallant
But my supreme sacrifice makes the Earth where I fall, a little more fragrant.
You probably won’t see me being called a role model or Idol
But it is my casket which gets the salute and my uniform, the medals.
Your heart may miss a beat when a moviestar blows a kiss or courts death
My heart beats for the National flag which goes aflutter with my every breath.
I am a soldier, written down on walls of fame when I die
Am I remembered enough by young minds for the bravery and sacrifices I do?
I am a soldier, a son of the soil
I live to protect my Nation
I am a soldier and the only time I rest
Is when I am laid to rest.
Note: This poem is written in memory of our slain soldiers who die on the battlefield because of enemies or in other areas because of terrorists, but all we have is a minute for them and sometimes not even that. When it comes to the death of our celluloid heroes, we flood the Media, Social Media and conversations with news and praise about them. The soldier doesn’t complain, nor does he expect your praise – he is moved by higher ideals. It may seem that the actors, who have entered your home and life and have entertained you in good times, are your family … but the soldier is that invisible family member whom you remember only in bad times. Salute them atleast in your heart every day and teach your children to do that too.
… Rati Hegde
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