Mumbai lies bleeding again,
Ah me, she has been struck
By men of satanic design,
Senseless scary specters,
In a horrible dance of terror.
She had seen her children die
In riots, blasts and fire,
They are again mowed down
Now in a nightmare
By wickedness unparalleled,
Devilish and devious.
Beautiful, bejeweled and demure
She made it always sure
That her children never had to suffer
And that they laughed aloud
Through summer, rain and cold,
Whether they huddled in huts,
Slept on littered pavements,
Were stacked like sardines
In streaking trains, clad in sweat,
Or ensconced in comfort
On Malabar, Pali, Cumbala Hills.
Her lap was home
For all those who came
>From distant lands
Indian and abroad,
She was home for the persecuted
From all over the globe,
A cultured madam to the sailors,
Who set foot on her shores,
In their quest for gold and scents,
Gems, wisdom and condiments.
Her children were of diverse hue
Like a bird's colorful plume,
Like a rainbow on Arabian Sea
In the glitter of monsoon eve.
In you were blended, dear Mumbai,
Passion, culture, spice of life,
Hidden beneath your wealth and posh
Indeed was an unseen bond
That tied us rich and poor
All alike like gleaming gems
In a necklace of Indianness,
A marvel as ancient as Ganges
And our sacred unwritten scriptures.
We walked your streets
Like in a dream
As do romantic leads
In fairy-tales feathery light
Played on our silver-screens.
Our goals were sure,
Our eyes azure,
We never had time for care,
Your embrace was so secure.
Temple, church and mosque we built
Together in one-nation spirit.
We didn't think even the least
Varied Gods in them we placed,
For something sacred from our past
Told us we were never apart.
We cackled like Diwali crackers
As we feasted Ramadan nights,
We smiled like Christmas morn,
We were always one and one.
Alas, gone are those golden days
Of trust, friendship, healthy sport.
Ours now is a miserable lot
Full of distrust, venomous thought.
Laughter and felicity we forgot,
Distraught we are by the thought:
'The man next doors has a scheming look,
Looks askance, he's a crook,
Oh God, he has a different God,
Time now I preserved mine dear Lord'.
We lost our sleep, we lost our mirth,
We lost our soul of Indianness,
We built walls and barbed their tops
Mounting on them barking guns.
Indians died and in their place,
Hindus, Muslims, Christians rose,
Language split our souls apart,
For sons of the soil we all fought.
Down we sank - a diseased nation
Fertile ground for contagion.
Misguided religion, death and terror,
Our enemies have them without any measure.
They are indeed a vilely lot,
Who place bombs in market hearts,
Desecrate all our holy hearths,
Shoot and kill us sans any thought.
Drunk of political power, drained of wit,
Leaders of the masses wilt,
Cringing for crumbs, alms and favor
On long corridors of power,
Puppets moved by perpetrators
Of crimes, arson, riots, who conspire
To undermine what remains
Of our humane Indianness
And our strides in sciences
All the way up to the Moon's surface.
Impotent we stand and witness
The gruesome terror senseless,
A volcanic rage fumes inside
As poor Mumbai bleeds and wails
Her sons fall in acts of bravery
Never heard before in history
Sanguine buds in a sacrificial pit
In the darkness of November nights.
A nation cries aloud to heavens
To send her a savior son,
Alas! in the pitch darkness around
Will she ever find that dear one?
Will her prayers ever be heard?
Will he come half-clad,
With a disarming smile, bespectacled,
Holding a walking stick, of concrete will,
Speaking a language of peace?
Or will he be seen under a tree
With a message to set us free
In the Kingdom of our Indianness
Of Love's Universal Consciousness?
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti