Naveen – A tribute

Naveen – A tribute
'Naveen' means fresh, creative, bright
'Naveen' was my mom's youngest brother's name
"He died when he was two," my grandma told me
with a tear in her eye.
"A long, long time ago."

Yesterday, Naveen died once again
This time, he was twenty-one
A year older than my daughter is now
He was studying to be a doctor-
Learning to not give up, learning to give hope

It wasn't just Naveen who died-
Yesterday
But all the people Naveen could have 
saved; had he lived. 
They died too, yesterday.

And with him, 'Hope'- she died as well
She was hurled out yesterday
By 'Reality'.
They say it's not the government's fault; I agree
They say Naveen should have evacuated; I agree

But, Naveen was twenty-one;
A child, still- filled with hope 
and disbelief in
the possibility of War;
So, he stayed on; but it wasn't for long

'Reality' plucked him; it shook our core
And we cried - for Naveen and for every child 
Who dares to dream 
And has his dreams ripped apart
In an unfair world.


This poem is a tribute to the 21 year old medical student, Naveen, who lost his life yesterday
in the war in Ukraine. May his soul rest in peace and may God give his family strength. 
Our prayers are with all those who are stuck in the middle of conflict for no fault of theirs. 
May God have mercy.

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18 responses to “Naveen – A tribute”

  1. A touching poem.My heart goes to his family. Really what happened is devastating.

    • Thank you very much for reading and sharing warm words of support. I pray the family finds strength to heal. We can only hope that this madness ends soon and no more civilians are hurt.

  2. Oh my, Smitha, what a heart rending poem this is. I tend to over relate to stories of young men dying as my oldest has just turned 19 which is the average age of death in many wars.

    • Maybe that’s why I related to it so much too because my older one is the same age! It’s just too shocking, Robbie, to see buildings going up in flames, such long convoys of tanks driving into the city and innocent children stuck in the middle of it all. I hoped it would end soon but it seems to be getting worse.

      • I feel the same way, Smitha, and I am trying to dissociate from it as much as possible. We were just starting to recover from the pandemic and its devastation too.

        • I know…after two years of being hostage, I would think anybody would just want to live and let live. You’re right, Robbie- I need to do the same- to dissociate myself for my own sanity- we need to make the most of the present. I pray the war ends soon though – God knows the repercussions it may have in and around.

  3. Your poem touches and shakes me deeply to the core – has me acknowledge and feel all that I am unwilling to. This is indescribable grief and pain, unnnecessary. Thank you for writing.

  4. This is perhaps the saddest thing about this war ~ the lost potential of another generation. Such a beautiful poem, emotional, raw and very real. A tragedy for Ukraine, and things look bleak even with all the hope from around the world. What is so confusing as well, is for the people of Russia who will suffer as well all, this has come about due to the warped ego of one little man. Take care ~

    • Thank you Randall for reading the poem and for your generous appreciation of the poem. It’s very encouraging.
      Yes, I’ve thought of the people of Russia as well- they have so much more to give the world- art, music, dance- they excel in almost everything they set their minds on. I can’t imagine what it must be like for them, especially the artists ( I follow them on Instagram). It must be so difficult to continue their work in the midst of chaos.
      Warm regards,

    • Thank you,Andrea for reading and writing back⚘️. It’s the unfortunate truth. There are so many more and will be by the time this war ends.

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