SKB (4th December 1966 / Jalpaiguri Town, West Bengal, India)

# Banda Bahadur

/* I acknowledge influences of Tagore's 'Bondi Veer' here, though it is not a translation, nor thought to be originally */

ONCE there reigned a Sikh warrior
In a land where flows five rivers
He, a hallowed Khalsa Martyr
With a name Banda Singh Bahadur.

At that time Moghul power was in decay
The Nawab lost sanity, so his army's fame
Hundreds of heads rolling everyday
Yet the Sikhs fought fearless by Guruji's Name.

In one such battle Banda fought in vain
Fearless his soul fall into a treachery
Brought to Delhi in iron chains
Paraded on the streets with highest mockery.


For seven days heads rolled in procession
People of Delhi had never seen such a carnage
'Mercy can be given only for a change in religion'
By Guruji's Name, Sikhs gave heads in darest courage.


The son so young was put inside Banda's lap
To kill him by his own hands was the verdict!
Kissed his young lips, Banda whispered, 'Son! Do not be afraid'
Chanting Guruji's Name he planted dagger inside youthful chest!


They wiped out his ears and flesh from his body
Hacked the child, so merciless to put in his mouth the child's liver
Took him into pieces with devil's rhapsody!
Banda showed no emotion, not even a dropp of tear!

Shamik Bose 9.06.10 Calcutta

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