The ‘Glory’ of War

What do you see when you hear the word ‘war’?
I see a couple parting at the train station,
Kissing for the last time and hoping that they’d be in each other’s arms again.
I see a tiny kid huddled under a bunch of blankets,
Wondering if he’ll see the morning sun come up the next day.
I can see a woman standing near what remains of her home,
A lifetime spent in building it brick by brick now left in ruins.
I wonder how firefighters stand in front of a bombed building,
Praying that there will be only a few bodies to salvage from the ruins.
I can almost imagine the soldiers’ phone calls to their homes,
Assuring their loved ones that they’ll return home safely.
Which brings me to the long queues at the enlistment stations,
Young men ready to fight in what could be a tedious and horrendous war for the country they love.
I can imagine the cities which were once bustling with liveliness,
Now engulfed with black coiling smoke reaching towards the sky.
Families gazing at each other hungrily and adoringly,
Begging God that they would all make through it alive, unhurt.
I can imagine the fear one might see in the eyes of a girl,
How terror feels like acid sliding down her throat.
I can see the people racing to leave the places they once lived in,
Places that were loved and places where memories were made.
Well my dear,
Do you still think about how war is glory and battles won?
At night when you head to bed I’d like you to wonder,
What do you see when you hear the word ‘war’?

Kaunain Fatima is a Class 12 student from Lucknow.

Featured image: People walk as they flee from Ukraine to Hungary, after Russia launched a massive military operation against Ukraine, at a border crossing in Beregsurany, Hungary, February 25. Photo: Reuters/Bernadett Szabo