About a fatherless daughter, a fluttering flag and a heart full of pride, love and the ability to retrospect, I present to you ‘Daughter’:
Goosebumps caress my skin as the Indian flag soars in the breeze,
My heart swells with joy as I raise my hand to salute.
All around me, people are standing tall, proud and rigid like trees.
Suddenly tears fill my eyes,
For, today, a year ago, was the day my father said goodbye.
A soldier in the Indian army,
He’d light up when talking about his country.
Back then, I’d never understand why he’d risk his life so.
I used to wonder,
how my father, along with so many other soldiers,
would protect the nation fighting with such gallantry and thunder.
I used to wonder whether war was inevitable to defend and harbor our land.
Why was it that only soldiers had to put themselves on the frontier and be the ones to take a stand?
But now, as a trainee for the army, I see it.
I finally for India feel.
I feel immense love for the tricolor and 24-spoked blue wheel.
My love lies not in only our country,
But the diversity.
22 languages and 500 vernaculars,
8 religions and 100 different historical destinations,
Isn’t that spectacular?
When I run out of fingers to count all the terrorist attacks,
When I read about the horrors of guerrilla warfare on us,
I am taken aback!
When I hear about the length freedom fighters went to preserve India’s integrity,
And the ways in which our ancestors suffered under the iron rod of the British,
I feel my blood boil and all but have one wish;
To protect the people that make this country a nation,
To preserve the true values imbibed through our constitution,
And to make sure India is treated with its deserved dignity,
By fighting to secure our motherland’s authenticity.
For, my love for this land,
Lies not only in its people, its hopes and its dreams,
But in the courage I find in our soil and sand.
In our heart and soul lies our land’s culture,
And it is in 110 billion beating hearts,
That we find our nation’s pride, strength and patriotic nature.
Now, as I watch our flag flutter in the air,
I’m filled with all but despair.
Seeing the tricolors, I can’t help but feel proud,
because all I want to do is scream ‘Ae Watan’ aloud!
How I wish my father was with me,
So that when I do hoist our flag onto the highest height, he’ll see.
For, serving in the army doesn’t mean putting a life at risk.
Oh! It’s so much more than that; a sparkling opportunity,
to serve my country
in ways I can’t imagine.
After all, as I stand tall and proud today,
I know I’ve landed my biggest win.
For, I’m not my father’s daughter anymore.
I’m India’s, for sure.
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