Rani Lakshmibai came into my dream last night
She wanted me to serve our nation by using her bravery and might,
And suddenly I was transported in the 19th century’s strife.
Born Manikarnika, with her determination to fight for her and her people’s pride,
She was fierce and a Peshwa’s bride.
With her fiery grace,
She rode into battle, leading the chase.
A Maratha queen, a fearless soul,
Whose stories of valor we extol.
When the East India Company approached,
She didn’t falter, she instead reproached.
She didn’t let her head fall,
She refused to listen to the foreigners call.
Inspiring the women around her to fight with the same determination she held,
The burning hatred she felt being stifled by the foreigners in her own homeland,
Being discarded for being a woman fighting a ‘man’s’ fight,
She rose against the voices with courage in every strife.
A Maratha queen, her soul on fire,
It is not only freedom she desired.
The respect the foreigners’ stripped India of,
The pride and dignity in being Indian, for 89 years, unheard of.
Staying put was not the strategy,
She stayed and fought for her dignity.
A Maratha queen, who held a heart of gold and the voice of a lion,
Roaring through history and through battle.
Her name went down with the greats like Kasturba Gandhi and Begum Hazrat Mahal,
She taught a history of women how to fight for their dignity and serve their nation.
Like a moth drawn to the flame,
She was drawn to the burning fire in her heart, history knows her name.
A Maratha queen, who was the leading figure in the Indian rebellion of 1857,
She became a national hero and a symbol of resistance.
Remembering the times of the British raj,
She led the chain reaction of events that led to end of 89 years of suffrage.
She holds beauty, power and strength,
Her beauty lays the blood her sword poured of the foreign man.
A Maratha queen, whose name still we take,
A woman who just wanted to fight in India’s name.
A woman who wanted to breathe the air of India,
Not being tainted by the agony endured by the slaves.
A woman who opposed the British and her own, who stood against her,
She became the voice for freedom.
As I sit and write about the courageous ways of a Maratha queen,
I wonder if I was her, what would I be?Perhaps I would sit and wait for someone else to fight,
Or maybe I would take a stand against what is right.
Manikarnika teaches power and the strength it takes to raise your voice,
No matter how afraid might you be, you have no choice.
Though she fell in battle, her legends did soar,
In our hearts, Rani Lakshmibai, forevermore.
On horseback, in armor she inspired her kin,
Her spirit like a flame, burning still bright, she never gave in.
‘If defeated and killed on the field of battle,
We shall surely earn eternal glory and salvation’
These words still echo in Jhansi.
Rani Lakshmibai came into my dream last night,
She wanted me to serve our nation by using her bravery and might.
She taught me her wisdom,
She taught me her strength,
She taught me stand for those who can’t,
She taught true beauty lies in ones heart.
I wish she knew her pain,
Was not endured in vain.
I wish she were here to see her India as free as the birds that rove in the sky,
As free as the Indian flag that flies high,
As free as the untainted, blue rivers that flow in her homeland,
As free as our speech that may never be stifled again and our unchained hands,
I wish she were here to see,
The India she helped in making free.
A Maratha queen, who still inspires generation, after generations,
She still exists in our verses, prose and songs,
She exists in every woman who raises her voice,
She exists in the soil,
She exists in paintings of her heroic battle,
And her extraordinary bravery in my hands I cradle.
As I stand on this land
I call my own,
I can feel the arrows shot on the name of freedom.
I can feel the blood in the soil of the lost soldiers.
I can feel the love they had for the land I stand on,
I hope I can do right by Rani Lakshmibai and the ones who stood by her.