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Ignite the reading passion in kids this summer & "Make Reading Cool Again". Use CHILDREN40 to get exciting discounts on children's books.



4 mins


Long ages ago,

When our race was young,

And our harsh life made us forego,

Our desire for freedom; peace we have sung,

Scarcely had cities been built,

Barely had the sea been conquered,

But our deeds revealed our guilt,

And, the hopes, that we had harbored!

Freedom and independence, every man sought,

Though alas! They sought in vain!

And a life, where a man would live for another,

Free from hunger, suffering, and pain!

And merely to scorn the elements fury-

They were hardly satisfied.

For years they had slaved, under a tyrant's jury,

Till the day, man-made kings they defied!

And indeed, then; till now,

Man has always taken this vow,

And longed to live in freedom: breathe free air,

Yet even now, the world is hardly free and fair.

For despite many glorious sacrifices,

And innumerable wars waged,

Our values and disabilities have to lead to our compromise,

Man has learned nothing, as the world has aged!

Our freedom is but a mirage,

An idol, we worship, as pagans did their Gods!

Though tyrants and despots are now in a cage,

We, now see more cruel lords!

For though the chains of slavery,

Time's sword has rent apart,

The freedom gained is an idle boast!

Empty, hollow-no bravery,

For man, he is not truly free in his heart!

Now different chains bind us,

So dark and fine, they are not even seen.

Yet, if only we would notice them,

They might remind us of,

Love; for which the world, today, is so keen!

For freedom eternal, is often wasted,

By most who inhabit this world,

Many of them must still be uplifted,

Before the banner of freedom is unfurled!

Men still live in poverty,

Hunger, thirst, ignorance, and pain!

Various chains encircle the fraternity;

Men continue to strive in vain!

And the clouds of abject poverty,

Still darkens many a home and name!

How can they dream of liberty?

Lacking food and shelter, are they to blame?

Still, many live from hand to mouth,

They know not about their evening meal!

Such men can't about freedom shout.

To fill their bellies, the noblest,

Must beg, borrow or even steal!

What a disgrace, it is indeed,

For man, to lose his humanity!

Some men grow rich, of the poor, they feed,

While others live lives, full of vanity!

We pay lip service to the poor and maimed,

Headlines in newspapers are all their fame!

A walk or two held in their name,

Soon forgotten, to our shame!

The chains of dead habit bind us,

Blinding; as they enslave,

Even the wisest amongst us,

Of breaking free; has to be brave!

And alas! We live in prejudice; see!

While various races, each other fight,

Their children, would rather, brothers be,

While us, each other, in hatred spite!

Through the pages of history,

Many wars have been waged,

Even while, for universal peace;

Several 'walks' were being staged!

Even if we want harmony,

They won't let it be,

It is to their benefit,

If in the chains of distrust,

We are tied; they see!

Hatred begets hatred; it's all over the pages of history,

And even if you flip the pages of your own life; you'll see,

They'll let these chains tie us; they'll let us be;

While, they rejoice, and benefit from our misery!

'Ours is a modern world'; empty words, echo mockingly,

While ancient evils, still live to this day, shockingly!

For, while every town has a college and every village it's school,

Still, the beast of hatred grows stronger, let us not be fooled!

A man may harness the very stars,

Our lives we may extend,

And live, perhaps as the very Gods,

Yet on this, we must depend,

That the paths, which we now, walk along,

Cannot, take us to the freedom, that we seek!

With time, we may grow wise and strong,

Yet in many ways, we will still be weak!

If you look at society, colored in deep dark dyes,

With eyes made keen, by wisdom and reason,

The scales of complacence will fall off your eyes,

And make you aware, of deep-seated treason!

'Cause, what a pity to see society; all the learned and rich,

Still moving in darkness; only falling into a ditch!

For the message of the Lord - inner peace; no one does seek

And this is what makes society so weak!

Indeed, I'll look out at the world with bewilderment, tomorrow,

In this modern time!

Where to speak out is to call for sorrow,

And, to be different, a crime!

The labor of man is great,

It has helped us touch the sky.

Yet for those who say that man is free,

I declare, indeed they lie!

All honor lost, all faith lost.

The world has deadened man's soul,

And now, that we know the cost,

We pray God, makes us whole!

For hunger thirst and ignorance,

Poverty and pain-

They are born of a single misery,

That resounds in all, as a refrain!  

I speak of that, which blights our freedom,

That mocks our strength, makes us weak;

I speak of that, which undermines our kingdom,

It is of human apathy, which I speak.

We have forgotten, that we gain, by giving,

To care, we have lost the capacity.

Alas! Why are we not, more loving?

That for kindness, we have lost the ability!

For this, I pray, to God above,

Everywhere; to do away, with these chains!

For only, when every man looks at his fellow, with love,

Only then, shall we do away with these pains!

Prize-winning poem at the All India Albert Barrow Creative Writing Competition, conducted by the Council of the Indian School Certificate Examinations. (CISCE)

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