Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Rani of Jhansi

Motherless girl queen
Adopted light-hearted dear Chhabili
Adopting in turn
When your princely son was lost
Dalhousie claimed his lapsed throne
Gave Anan Rao a pension instead

Revolution over pork and beef bullets
Which sent Muslims and Hindi alike to unclean death
Shook British from the subcontinent
Like fleas from a king's dog
You kept calm leading the haldi-kumkum
But when a Rose laid siege to Jhansi
You jumped the wall on horseback
Adopted son clinging to your back

Rallying rebels at Kalpi
You pushed the invaders back
Till your lifeblood was spilt
Laid low in armor with sword in hand
Even the Rose acknowledged
Your beauty, cleverness, perseverance
And most of all your danger

In truth your body scattered with the birds
Turned to seeds of bronze
Spread your shining flower all over India
To remind all women
Of the beauty and bravery
They are heir to

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