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Image below, first from bottom: detail from painting of Bhai Jaita by S. Jaswant Singh.

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The Tyrants Folly at
Chandni Chowk

A Poem by MICHELE GIBSON

 

 

Auranzeb's threats flew empty in the wind

Then the rains came, cleansing the corrupted soil

Dusk and mist surrounded the severed head

The defiant body sprawled to set the foil

*

In the deepest space of night

A shadow crept toward the radiant face

He wrapped it gently in a peasant's shawl,

Bound to his chest, he freed it from the place

*

Jaita thrust steed and fortitude ahead

Cradling the resolute and precious one

Journeyed to Anandpur with great sorrow

And proclaimed his burden to the solemn Son

*

In Chandni Chowk a second shadow tempts the tyrant field

The moon's affinity invites the way

Lakhi binds the body in his only kashmir shawl

Hoists it to a cart and slips away

*

He is the sole procession to a simple home,

Quietly he pries the entrance wide

And guides the Guru's platform to the very heart

Of his every comfort, care and pride

*

He sets it all to rebel flame

Deftly fuels the dazzling fire

Burns every possession to the ground

And completes the blessed Guru's funeral pyre

 

November 24, 2010

 

Conversation about this article

1: Gurjender Singh (Maryland, U.S.A.), November 24, 2010, 6:43 AM.

A nice tribute to Guru Tegh Bahadar. There is no parallel example of sacrifice. He died in defence of others - in this case, Hindu Brahmin Pandits from Kashmir. But His sacrifice is not known to most of the world, including a majority of Indians.

2: Waryam Singh (Jalandhar, Punjab), November 24, 2010, 8:59 AM.

Brought tears to my eyes. You have an incredible gift of going to the core of a story. Thank you.

3: Pashaura Singh (Riverside, California, U.S.A.), November 24, 2010, 12:03 PM.

Michele, you are a poetic genius! It is a wonderful tribute on Guru Tegh Bahadar's Martyrdom Day. Thanks for recreating the scene as if it happened in front of your eyes.

4: Sukhcharan Kaur (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), November 24, 2010, 12:12 PM.

Your electrically charged words, coupled with the vivid images on the side, are gripping, to say the least. It has prompted me to pull out a few books and re-read the details of that eventful day. Michele, your words are inspirational! Thank you, sikhchic.com, for bringing all of this together ... truly, food for the soul!

5: Sangat Singh (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), November 24, 2010, 2:58 PM.

Michele, this is Gur Prasad, and you are a blessed soul, and your satsang would ignite others too. "Aap juppey avara naam juppaa-ai". Your outpourings come from the heart, fresh as dew.

6: Jesroshan Singh (Malaysia), November 24, 2010, 9:37 PM.

Guru Tegh Bahadar is known as 'Hind ki Chaadar. When "Mother India" was raped by Aurangzeb, the Guru provided a blanket to cover the nakedness of the mother and save her honour. He died protecting the Hindus but none now live who either understand or appreciate his sacrifice.

7: Gurnam Kaur (Perth, Australia), November 25, 2010, 9:19 AM.

This is the most touching description of Guru Tegh Bahadar's shaheedi I've ever read. And all in less than than two hundred words or so! Wow!

8: Damanjeet Kaur (New Delhi, India), November 26, 2010, 8:04 AM.

Beautiful poem! Has made me hungry for more ... please do write more often, Michele. You have an incredible gift!

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Chandni Chowk"









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