Treasure Island

Dr Tapan Kumar Pradhan

(October 22,1972 / Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India)

Freedom


The shrill long siren of a distant factory
Momentarily drowns the cacophony of crows;
Relentless shouting of slogans in the street -

A sparrow, suddenly, twitters. Horizon clears:

Bleary-eyed school children huddle in uniforms
Startled by the fresh-polished sparkle of their shoes,

At the square
People are already thronging the barricades
Looking at the flagstaff, steady arrival of jeeps,
Men in white kurtas, sparkle of brass bands, waiting…

A mad jeep speeds through the crowded street, scattering
Coloured pamphlets like bubbles of soap:
The sun n-o-w comes up. Soon, Freedom will come, soon!

An old man with ghoulish eyes crouches by the drains
Munching a green twig, and watches in silence
Looking nowhere:
A street dog, impatiently, barks.

The old man is counting his sixty years perhaps.

The crowd grows slowly - suddenly, restless.
A rag-picker picks up the red green pamphlets
From the roadside, eagerly, looking both ways:
            the old man coughs,

and watches foolishly, still counting his sixty years,
arrival of more jeeps, neat men in white kurtas,
ruddy sparkle of brass bands, children reeling off
well-rehearsed slogans -

    at seven-thirty sharp
    the tricolour unfurls.

*******

(On the 60th Anniversary of India's Independence)

Note: -
White kurta - garment usually worn by Indian politicians

Submitted: Thursday, August 15, 2013
Edited: Sunday, September 08, 2013

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Comments about this poem (Freedom by Dr Tapan Kumar Pradhan )

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  • Ramesh Rai (3/30/2014 5:00:00 PM)

    Freedom in India. never. it is just like sheeps ruled by wolves. Thanks for share. (Report) Reply

  • marvin brato (1/19/2014 3:26:00 PM)

    Meaningful tribute to an Independence Day.... reminiscent of how the freedom was won! (Report) Reply

  • Patricia Grantham (11/21/2013 12:34:00 PM)

    Let freedom ring for all of those who are oppressed. I could imagine
    the happiness on their faces as they watched the parade rode past
    them. People from all walks came to get a glimpse and to revel in
    their rise to freedom. So inspiring. (Report) Reply

  • Matt Mooney (11/3/2013 2:27:00 PM)

    A great poem of tangible expectation of something extraordinary about to happen with an array of everyday images unfurled in the meantime. (Report) Reply

Read all 5 comments »

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