By-Medha Gupta, Srishti School of Design, Bangalore.
Must be hard. To watch from afar, cloaked in the oppressive shadows of silence, forced to support. To watch as silent tears rolled down your cheeks, the emptiness of your eyes revealing more than words ever could. Must be hard to keep secret your pain from the world, as under the guise of patriotism, your young ones would go to fight. To fight a battle not theirs, to slay an enemy faceless. Only he has a face, a mirror of theirs. And while those back home rejoice in the cosy comfort of their homes, reducing your pain to sheer numbers, you pray for mercy, hoping your own will not become another statistical point, another name on a list, another stone in a graveyard.
Must be hard to see the passion in their eyes, and sometimes the weary emptiness of a soul grown old. Must be hard to stop them from going, to hide the anguish of your heart, hidden behind your tears of pride. Must be hard to send them away into a hail of bullets, knowing that death is certain, at least spiritually. Knowing that the hollow tunnels of their eyes will haunt you for the rest of life, knowing that you sent them to fates with atrocities rife. Must be hard knowing everything and still cheerfully waving goodbye.
Must be hard to rejoice in the joy of your child when his letter of recruitment he did receive. Must be hard to remember the moment while reading his last written words. Must be hard to know that his sacrifice is for someone else, a someone with an unknown face, a nation to the world. Must be hard to spend your life going from place to place, hoping salvation, in closure might take place. Must be hard to not have a body to cry upon, to soak awash with your tears. Must be hard to be the pillar of strength, while at night you cry alone.
Must be hard to die every day, watching your son fight in a meaningless war. To watch him deteriorate before your eyes while your anguish went unheard. Must be hard to be you, oh brave mother. Must be hard.