Crossing the lines—hammer and tongs,
Yes they are coming, marching in hordes,
With mortars and rifles and tanks and bombs;
And our protectors had fled the posts!
The elderly folks ran hysteric,
‘Dig the trenches’—they said,
‘Move to the banks, cross the river’.
And all around sheer chaos prevailed.
Thousands waited at the bank;
It was night and there were no ferries to be seen.
Kids shivered in the bitter winter cold,
Waiting to take the ferry early next morning.
The Sahibs had sold their tea gardens;
Some local crooks took the chance.
They packed their bags, killed their pets,
And in a moment left years of romance.
‘Bury the coins, burn the notes,
The Prime Minister has left us alone.
Leave the bags, quit the houses,
Pack the kids, and hide in the holes’.
PS: Remembering the plight of the people of Tezpur— a town in the state of Assam, India, during the 1962 Indo-China war, when the Chinese army was on an unabated intrusion.