Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sestina for Mumbai

This happened in the city of Bombay
On the eve of my fortieth birthday
The devil determined on a rampage
With hand held assault rifles: Carnage
That'd been funded and planned from way back.
The boys were laughing as they attacked.

Hospital, college and café attacked,
And two well-loved hotels in Bombay
Which unaware were so taken aback
That fateful hateful terrible day
Of the hate crimes and the carnage.
Headlines designed for the front-page.

For greedy news reporters no stoppage
In their reportage of terror attacks
Live coverage that endangered lives, coinage
Of terms that failed to remain. They bay
And they bray in this way to this day.
But this is not their story, let's go back.

To people fleeing, bullets in their backs
From Victoria Terminus after waiting an age
For trains that brought more victims that day.
Hotels hiding guests; warding off attacks
The unsung martyred of my Bombay
They saved lives but died in the carnage

The perpetrators of the carnage
Were cheerful, someone had their backs
And heads: Believing they’d soon leave Bombay
A foreign junket, this bloody rampage
To appease an Almighty a different tack:
They had no fear of Judgment Day.

They spilled a deep thirst, ran amok for two days.
For the nation it seemed to take an age
For the Government to mount a counter-attack
To gain control, indeed wrest it Back
And limit the damage, this scarlet seepage
From the breaking heart of my Bombay

The 26/11 Mumbai Attacks
On a day that marked my coming of Age
Bending my back with thoughts of Hate.

Bhavani Krishnamurthy

3 comments:

Subhadip said...

What is a sestina? Cool

K said...

Hey Shubho! Sestina is a poem of 6 stanzas of 6 lines followed by a stanza of 3 lines supposed to be in iambic pentameter. The interesting thing is that if one stanza ends with words 1,2,3,4,5,6 then the next stanza will go 6,1,5,2,4,3 and the last stanza is supposed to incorporate all the words 1,2,3,4,5,6 in maybe some prescribed order that I was too sleepy to figure. Very impressed that you are on FB!

M.P. said...

As you know, I think this is very powerful. Amazing that it is your first sestina.

I'm attempting one over the holiday.