Earthquake: A poem by RSN Singh

An earthquake or any natural disaster has many layers of  human tragedies and stories of irreparable loss and emotional devastation.

The emotional havoc caused by the recent earthquake in Sikkim and other areas needs to be addressed.

The poem below is based on a true incident in the earthquake at Chamoli.

It is written by former military intelligence officer RSN Singh. He has also served in the Research & Analysis Wing. The author of two books: Asian Strategic and Military Perspective and Military Factor in Pakistan, Singh is also a guest blogger for Canary Trap.

That night with me she snuggled,
‘Papa! Tell me a story’: She chuckled,
The story only half complete,
My little girl went asleep.

The lamp continued to flicker,
Accentuating her serene demeanour,
Overwhelmed, I planted a kiss,
Beside her I lay asleep.

No sound, no rain, no wind,
A disaster does all ‘lulls’ brings?
Ominous signs were there,
But I did not dare to care.

The night blew with a deafening noise,
The earth had lost its poise,
Rocking the bed  like a cradle indeed,
With  innocent  tenacity-
Her heart must have beat

My world began to crumble,
For safety I  scrambled,
Possessed by instinct to live,
I did not contest God’s writ.

The disaster when ebbed away,
Thought of her made way,
Desperately I rummaged the debris,
Hoping to recover my life’s ‘edifice’.

I found my doll still asleep,
Sporting a smile so deep,
Dreaming though the half-story told,
How could I have her care sold?

Instinct to live draws the worst in some,
For fear the inevitability of being undone.
In my now shameful and guilty living,
‘Papa! complete the story’-
She is constantly complaining.