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The Pied Piper of Imphal

"War is coming, hell descending... Then came the battle cries..."

ByNarda Ningthouja

Updated 11 Dec 2023, 2:37 am

(Photo: IFP)
(Photo: IFP)

Took by surprise on May 3

Awakened from deep slumber

By the sounds of gunfire

The heat of burning homes

As people fled their homes

Fear gripping their minds

Mothers and fathers missing

Sons and daughters scattered

In the din of hatred.


Yet, some knew it’s coming

War is coming, hell descending

Then came the battle cries

As if responding to a call

From the ramparts

Ringing in the ears


Hundreds of youth came

Armed with sickles and sticks

Baring chests, ready to die.


Along came the Piper

Promising a Valhalla

To a people starved

Of identity and cause

A racial pride sacrificed

At the altar of integrity

Waiting to emerge

A powder-keg waiting

For someone to ignite.


Young men in prime

Leaving their jobs, books

Dreams and aspirations


Came rushing in gushes

To the call of duty

To guard and reclaim

A pristine land

Of hills, valley and rivers

Devastated by greed.


Back from the front

Yet, restless and listless

A collective trauma

Deprived of motion

Yet, haunted by images

Stench bathed in dreams

Seeking release in motion

Without direction and purpose

And betrayed of promises.


First published:


warManipur violencewar poetry

Narda Ningthouja

Narda Ningthouja

Imphal, Manipur


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