Competition Entry #1 | Freedom to Dream: India at 70


ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival Blogging Competition Shortlisted Entry


The Flight of the Golden Bird

By Arjun Bhatia, 25 years, New Delhi


Torn between saffron and green
Crimson drops staining each side
Beaten and wounded but resolute
At the stroke of midnight, a bird
Stepped from her cage with pride

A common dream: to be free
Was for centuries, the theme
Then closed doors and open fists
Were opened and closed by
A common freedom: to dream

A dream to rise and shine, she saw
The weight of repression, the colours of hate
Challenged the meaning of her freedom
Lifting the load, cleaning the coats
Determined, she began to recuperate

Uniting the masses, the various classes
Convincing the princes and the kings
Ruffled and rickety
Hailing and wailing
She flapped her healing wings

Between the clashes of the hues
Which still tint many a sight
The pigmentations of the past
Were washed in part to reveal
Her historic golden might

On winds blowing across the seas
Adorning her charm old
New feathers to her came.
Transformed and yet the same
The fluttering bird, behold!

Amid rediscovery, she makes her mark
On microchips and in the skies
Hopping over a million hurdles
Rekindled by a billion hopes
Imperfectly, but with grace, she flies

On her uncaging, if you’d thought the same
It might have seemed absurd
Yet no more a crazy idea ‘tis
One day the world would cheer again
The flight of the golden bird


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