“IN THE TIME OF THE BREAKING OF NATIONS”: RETROSPECT ONGOING WAR
It was the last decade of last century. I was a student of a rural Indian village school. Our short height English teacher with Dhoti & Punjabi was very impressive. His style of presentation was so fascinating and the back benches even also became mesmerized by his spellbound presentation with dramatic appetite. Down the memory lane, three stanzas of three poems as below in the context of war give me the company during my solitude.
“Down the close, darkening lanes they sang their way
To the siding –shed
And lined the train with faces grimly gay
Their breasts were stuck with all white with wreath and spray
As men’s are dead — — — “(Send-off by Wilfred Owen)
It is a master class war poem that narrates the fate of the soldiers with worry and uncertainty lurking just beneath their footsteps. The second one was the about the death and devastation made by the war entitled “Home they brought her warrior dead” by Lord Tennyson.
“Home they brought her warrior dead
She nor swoon’d nor uttered cry
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
Rose a nurse of ninety years
Set his child upon her knee-
Like summer tempest came her tears
“Sweet my child, I live for thee”
The emotionally shocked lady of the dead soldier lost the meaning of life initially but catching onto reality as the child needs love and affection even in the profound loss of her dear one. This is the routine destiny of the soldiers of every war.The third poem about the flying color of human needs and urge of sensual feelings amidst the devastation made by the war as written by Thomas Hardy entitles “In the time of breaking of nations”.
“Only a man harrowing clods
In a slow silent walk
— — — — — — — — — — — — — -
Yonder a maid and her Wight
Come whispering by:
War’s annals will cloud into night
Ere their story die”
The urge to live and the story of love will continue when the documents of a year of war have long faded into oblivion.
The stories of war are the saga of human sorrows and sufferings whether it is the war between the two groups of rebellions or between the nations or among the nations. The death and the devastation caused by the wars since the time immemorial have been illustrated either by the stone carvings or in the pixels of the digital devices. Right now, another war is going on amidst the fertile land along the black sea. The bread bowl of the world is now become the worst victims. The green pastures of sunflower, wheat and Soybeans with others are weeping seeing the loss of the human cruelty. But what causes war? Since the dawn of the civilization, the philosophers and scholars viewed a number of reasons for war. The ferocious destructiveness of war are not the outcome of self-assertiveness but as a means of the integrative potential of species. Human fighting and atrocities during war is nothing but the commitment of reasons of group loyalty and idealism. After the increase of the human intelligence, man was increasingly freed from the bondage of biologically predetermined response mechanisms and the human aggressiveness would then become a learned behavior. However, the recent studies suggest that education and intelligence do not protect human from atrocities. Perhaps, we need atrocities to regulate ourselves whenever we suffer from any benign conflict. It has also been found that man is not only aggressive out of frustration and fear but also out of joy, plenitude and the love of life-either for the sweet heart of anything else. But when war breaks up, there are collective and individual shifts in perception, thought and behavior. No one is immune to it and is hard to avoid this transformation. As a human beings and societies, we are not immune to doing bad things but we can build guardrails to keep ourselves on track. Come back to the war of Russia and Ukraine. One nation is trying to maintain its sovereignty while others are trying keeping the domination .Whatever may be reason, thousands of soldiers are moving far off without any destination, death and devastation are taking into account in a geometric progression. An widow of a soldier is waiting for the dead body to bid him last ride, children are awaiting to welcome their fathers with joy and pleasure, the farmers are waiting to plant saplings and broadcast seed for the fulfillment of appetite. Amidst war, a soldier is raising the melancholy strain of violin despite the heart breaking roars of fighter jets. The war will come to an end but the dear and near one sacrificed their breath will never come back. Stop war!!!!!!. “Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.” — Albert Einstein