His Own Magnificent Sons

Kashiana Singh and Japneet Kaur present to you - His Own Magnificent Sons – A Story of reverence, sacrifice and separati...

The story of this devotional narrative that Japneet Kaur and I are sharing with our community is very simple.

It is a story of divine commission and an unexplained connection.

 

Circa January 2019 - I had just published my first poetry collection, Shelling Peanuts and Stringing Words, beautifully illustrated by Japneet Kaur.

It was an uneventful New Year’s Eve and we were going to bed after an ardaas prayer which has been an inherited “compulsive” habit learned from my father. I lay in bed reflecting on my bucket list, basking in the fact that I had been brave enough to put my poems out there, and thinking about which Netflix show I should convince my husband to watch. Nothing epic about it!

Well, instead my mind started drifting, I picked up my phone, opened my writing app and starting writing.

I am a management professional with over 25 years of experience in the business world, all I do every day is make decisions with data. Here I was on my phone, in my bed, typing away a poem about the story of Chhote Sahibzade. I have been writing for as long as I remember, for the last couple of years I write every day, words come to me in the shower, while driving, during a video conference at work, etc. but I have never had someone else write for me except that night for those few minutes. The first draft of this poem, written on 1/1/2019 was not something I fully chose to do myself. It was an overwhelming experience, yet it inscribed itself and I had to let it come. The writing of these lines felt like a catharsis that was mine to experience.

I texted Japneet later that night – asked her if she would be willing to partner with me on another project, told her a little about how Chhote Sahibzaade was coming together on paper. I asked her if she would be interested in giving shape to my voice, words. Of course, she said yes and as I continued to massage the first draft and share my work with her, she patiently and dexterously turned it into magical paintings; scenes that were formidable in their simplicity. We exchanged our work with each other over a few months, continued to play off each other’s progress (or lack of it sometimes) and continued to be inspired by His Grace.

Kashiana Singh and Japneet Kaur present to you - His Own Magnificent Sons – A Story of reverence, sacrifice and separation. Fateh and Zorawar in a pictorial, poetic and narrative ballad.

We would love your feedback in the comments section below. Do stay connected.

Written by Kashiana Singh
Painted by Japneet Kaur
Narrated by Kashiana Singh


 

Part 1

One

study of reverence

Imagine the absolute reverence of their submission

Imagine the absolute substance of character

their bodies being container to humanity

just a dozen years of flesh and bones

Fateh and Zorawar

contradicting childlike existence

meant to be, Gobind present in many ways

brought a thousand rays of light to the fort

      Healing with an embryonic innocence

dismissing brutal sacrifice

       Letting go of older brothers

along with the confidence they taught

       Pretended smiles of younger both

nourished tender hearts engulfed by evil

       Sitting into elevating prayer

even when facing a charcoal end

       Brimming with opal clarity

while responding to satanic taunts

       Nourished in warm embrace

on a cold prison floor

       Gathering simple praise while

paying rapt attention to duty

      Four young pragmatic boys

in complete reverence to the Gobind

Imagine the absolute reverence of their submission

Imagine the absolute substance of character

Warrior saints

         blithe, tender shoulders into armors

Obedient sons

        seek permission, step into battlefield

Loving grandsons

        eyes glean for strength, their Nana’s eyes

Humble leaders

        ignorant of flaws in the hemisphere

Lonely poets

        unfold hymns of their forefathers

Ambitious men

        surmount darkness with opulent bravery

Eager students

        survival skills alongside weaponry tactics

Savior sons

        standing atop the hill, a strapping pride they exude

self-effacing yet self-assured

present yet away

playful yet somber

Fellow wanderers

Certain of no rest

In complete obeisance

Imagine the absolute reverence of their submission

Imagine the absolute substance of character

Part 2

Two

study of sacrifice

Imagine the absolute reverence of their submission

Imagine the absolute substance of character

Imagine the inconceivable sacrifice

Chardiyaan Kalaan

said the Gobind

an orange sky celebrated

     that evening in unison

a vast river, winding

      nourishing thirsty souls

an inheritance of blood

      imprinting sanctity to tears

in confinement, silently sifting

      strength from scriptures

from memories of their mother

from mercy of the Gobind

from prayer chants of Mataji

from a manna of faith

innocence clasped within

      the folds of a withering dupatta

Fateh stood brave

      Zorawar charged victory

Mataji patted the pleats

      immaculately in place

of their turbans as they stood tall

      she continually wiped tears

tenderly the boys held hands

harsh insides of cold towers

      together teaching

contributing to our reckoning

     spiritual playfulness

juxtaposed with a soldier’s service

     cheerfully extricate

themselves from a destructive execution

     In demise

they walked princely into rich hues of the sunrise

    In being intimate

they found voices that eased the external chaos

     In submission

they laid foundations of healing frontiers

     In departure

they emerged into their wholeness

     towards a

moment of colossal victory

giant in spirit, bricked into freedom, as

a fluttering poem escaped the walls

horizons scattered surrender

into an endearing welcome

Fateh and Zorawar

torsos stood tall

all of 9 and 7, they forgave tenderly

the bricking was trivial, it was rather

their playful dismissal of it

that was monumental, elevating

the space, in its worst historical moment

Imagine the absolute reverence of their submission

Imagine the absolute substance of character

Imagine the inconceivable sacrifice

Part 3

Three

study of separation

Imagine the absolute reverence of their submission

Imagine the absolute substance of character

Imagine the inconceivable sacrifice

Imagine the intersection of love and separation

Buried alive in an effervescence of blessings

Battlefield a penance of armored turbans

Magnificent sons an ode to a father’s composure

Martyrdom discerning fragrance of a mother’s prayers

a luscious outburst of prayers

O my sprightly sons, may you go rapt into the light

May you find solitude within the bricks

May persistence find its way through the walls

May your young heads lay restful on tiny turbans

May your voices be sure in death as they were in life

May gilded skies bring you home to His Durbar

May your steps create an arc across the bleeding sky

May deliverance from handcuffs relieve festering wounds

May you hold each other as I shed a thousand tears

May the future sing stories of your undying devotion

May my mourning commemorate every warrior saint

May the Guru’s poems stand beside you in pertinent moments

May you be always be possessed with grace

A magnanimous sacrifice

a lineage of spiritual valor

an uplifting story of steadfastness

Imagine the absolute reverence of their submission

Imagine the absolute substance of character

Imagine the inconceivable sacrifice

Imagine the intersection of love and separation

Part 4

All paintings are by Japneet Kaur

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