The Weeping Walls of Jallianwala Bagh

 

The Weeping Walls of Jallianwala Bagh

 

The bullet-ridden walls of the garden weep,

They witnessed the blood bath,

Brutality and ruthlessness crossed the limits,

How many tender buds, old, youth,

Uncountable anonymous martyrs.

History testifies that every sacrifice changes the world.

Is it?

 

 

Being privileged to be born in an independent India, for me the only way to understand our freedom struggle has been through the stories of our freedom heroes and atrocities of British rule. So, to celebrate 75 years of India’s independence, I decided to visit Jallianwala Bagh to pay my tributes to the martyrs of India’s freedom movement. I was looking forward to seeing the renovated Bagh, with the recently added memorial and the galleries but as I walked into the Bagh, I was overwhelmed and tearful.

I stood near the memorial, suddenly I felt I was empowered ‘Drishti’, I was transported to that day of history, as every possible scene of that day started happening in front of me.

Standing in the middle of the ground and watching it live, I saw a panicked crowd running, screaming and crying all over the ground, with the screeching bullets being fired randomly. I could see heaps of dead bodies lying here and there, some on their backs and some with their faces upturned. A number of them were innocent children, women and old. No one was being spared. Everywhere only blood and blood. Amidst hundreds of corpses, I was standing, crying and watching.

The firing continued, I ran to the big well where many had jumped into, I could hear the cries of women and children, equally of the men folk from the well. Not able to bear the agonised cries, I closed my eyes and screamed.

 

‘Hey, what happened?’

I opened my eyes in disbelief as I heard my husband calling me. I came back to the present. Tears rolled down my eyes, I was distressed. What I experienced watching the nightmare, is difficult to describe in words.

Taking a deep breath and a sip of water, I continued to traverse the Bagh, and soon I was standing near the compound wall of the Bagh on which many randomly misfired bullet marks are still visible. I stood there in awe and started counting the marks, and then I heard a loud sob which slowly turned into cries. Astonished, I looked around but could not find anyone there. I realised, I was alone in the ground.

 

Hesitatingly, I asked, ‘Who is crying here?’

Again, a big sob came, and of a sudden, I realised it came from the wall.

Surprised, I asked, ‘Is it you, the wall?’ And then I was more baffled when I heard in a clear tear-soaked voice, ‘Yes!’

I took a moment to grasp what I just heard, and then I asked,’How is it possible? You are simply a wall! How can a wall weep?’

I heard the voice again, ‘I was the witness to the whole bloodbath, who else could feel the trauma more than me?’

I was stunned that a wall was talking to me. The truth was overpowering.

I asked in a low tone, ’But why are you crying? It is more than 100 years since the massacre happened here, it became one of the turning points in India’s independence struggle, and this year we have completed 75 years of Independence. You must feel elated about it!’

The wall made a loud sob, ‘The massacre happened 100 years ago but the world has not learnt from its mistakes. The powerful still use their might, and abuse power and money. Again and again, it’s the common people who are trampled in the name of politics and religion. Daily I experience the trauma of seeing the dead bodies, hearing the cries of the innocent! I am still weeping because the world has not changed even after so many massacres…’

I heard a loud sob again…

I was stunned. With tears in my eyes, I walked away…

 

Rakhi Sunil Kumar

 

 

Martyr’s memorial, Jallianwala Bagh

 

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Author

  • Rakhi Sunil Kumar

    Rakhi Sunil Kumar has published three fictions – ‘Dancing Mirrors’, ‘Bougainvillea Anywhere Everywhere’ and ‘Songs of Water’. She has worked in IT for 30 Years, and now pursuing her interest in Creative Writing!

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