Wednesday, March 16, 2005


Samapan: Conclusion

Did you call for me My Kanu?
Here I come
I have been waiting for your call
This is whyI did not absolve myself
For I knew
Someday you would call my name
In longing
And here I come!

I have been waiting all this while;
At the crossroads of Life-
So that this time,
When you leave,
I come with you!

Oh my beloved!
Why did you hesitate
To take me along?
Without me, how could you write history?
Without your Radha beside you,
Your words remain hollow,
meaningless,Bloodthirsty sounds!

Oh my Dearest!
You need me,Here I come-
None can accuse me-
Of having abandoned you,
at your time of need for me.
Let the whole world know that Radha;
was not merely a note in your Song-
Radha was The Melody, The Music;
I have come to you my Dearest!
You who weaved fiery blossoms into my tresses!
Tarry not anymore;
To weave meaning into History!

Finally you have called for me-
I have been waiting so long,
Firm and steady at the crossroads-
You have called my name;
Here I come to you,My lord!

{Radha was The One Woman who had claimed Krishna as a whole-Destiny separated them, Time could not dull the pain, the agony, the ache of separation-Their love for each other would remain the same-They would never meet, but they belonged to each other-their love transcended Time, Space-the anguished yearning for Radha, for the touch of her hand on his fevered brow-the utter sense of hopelessness-and yet they were One!( Kamala Subramanian- The Mahabharatha)}


Samudraswapn-The dream of the Ocean

Today, My Kanu,
I saw in My Dreams-
The vast depthless ocean;
On whose serpent bed,
Have We been reclining,
Since Time Immemmorial!

Where once the
Brilliant Sun arose-
Today what do I see?
Millions of barren oysters;
Lashing in the waves;
Adorned with helmets of moss,
Armed with bows of dead fish,
Ready for war!
And you standing aside;
Dejected, morose,
Sometimes mediator,
Sometimes indifferent;
At other times-
At War!

And finally, I see;
You are exhausted,
Dejected, desolate,
Gloomy, inconsolable,
Dazed in melancholic stupor-
You rest your fevered brow,
Upon My shoulders;
Disconsolate, seeking solace, comfort-
Your wandering fingers,
Scribble on the shore;
With no expectations, no hopes.
Simply to cool your weary fingers-I
n the placid waters,
For momentary relief-

I saw the Ocean
In my dream Kanu,
Poisoned crests, lifeless Suns,
Barren Oyesters, Dead Fish,
The waves are relentless,
And you with upraised arms;
Are entreating aloud in vain,
But Alas nobody gives a ear!

Finally, You return;
Defeated, desolate, saddened,
Laying your head on my Bosom,
You fall asleep-
And my bosom;
Like the soft lotus leaf
Afloat on the sea-
On which You recline;
Rocked to slumber,
in the cradle of the waves-
Your lips move ever so softly:-
"My Duty, what is My duty"-
The Waters Pat you to sleep.
The Waves rock You to sleep.:-
Sleep Mighty Saint, Sleep,
Slumber is Salvation:-
You murmur in your sleep::-
"What is Justice, Wisdom,
Who decides the line
differentiating Right from Wrong?"
:-The Waves answer::-
"Sleep on, Lord of The Universe,
Awakening is merely a Dream
A Deception, A Delusion!"-

Beads of sweat on your brow;
Your lips quiver,
You start in shock!
You had no touchstone,
By which to decide;
And so You gamble away-
The fateful Decision-
Like a game of Dice!:-
"Duty is at my feet,
Vice at my headside"
:-Hearing which,
The exhausted waves
Signal the floods to begin!

And You sit on the shores
Looking up with vacant,melancholic gaze
You shudder to think-:-
"What if I had found Duryodhan at my feet;
That day!Ah Arjuna!
I too have been
A naive lad
On the shores Of the vast Ocean of Destiny!!"

I saw the Ocean
In my dream today
Oh Kanu!
The winds are blowing
The trees are rustling
Along the shores.
All in vain,Pathetic attempts;
To create an imprint
On the sands of Time!

History stumbles on crutches!
The Gandiva that was-
Empowered by your incantations;
Has now sunk like wet moss!
And now you areDisconsolate, depressed-

Near the shore,Are coconut trees-
You sit silently-
Under an ancient Peepul tree,
Silent, morose, Indifferent,
And today, for- The first time,
There is fatigue
On your brow
You are exhausted, cheerless,
You look on detached;
A sigh escapes from your lips-
FinallyYou have abandoned
HistoryLike old clothing-
And at this momentOf Failure, Of Agony,
You have finally remembered Me!

The glow of the lamp is flickering;
Darkness is approaching,
Your long tired arms;
Are the waves of the Ocean-
The lost oysters are your quivering lips-
And at last today,
You are but a call,
A deep beckoning,
You are calling for Me!
You have abandoned everything
You are lost-
You are seeking me!!!


Shabd- Arthheen-Words-Meaningless sounds

But how will you
explain to me my Kanu,

Words , sounds
are meaningless to me
if not uttered by You-
With your quivering lips-
As you sit beside me,
Playing with my tresses-

Words are mere sounds-
Duty, Faith, Decision, Responsibility-
I too have heard these words
Resound in lanes and alleys.
Perhaps Arjuna finds them meaningful!
But to Me-
Alas!These words mean nothing!
All I can see
As you utter them;
Is your moving lips,
Your dusky, swaying body,
Your long, slender neck,
Your raised sandal arms,
Your uplifted gaze,
Your magic weaving lips-
And I imagine;
Myself instead of Arjuna-
And my heart trembles
In longing, yearning-

I do not know
What the war is all about?
Whose side am I on?
What is the dispute?
What is the War for?
But my heart is filled
with yearning
Simply because
I love to listen
To You talking-
And the Armies come to a halt!
History awaits-
It is just me, only Me
Listening to you speak,
Utter words!

Duty, Faith, Decision, Responsibilities-
These words mean nothing to me;
I just keep gazing up at you,
Without batting my eyelids.
Every word, an offering,
I swallow into my soul.
Your effulgence
Sets ablaze
My wilted soul-

The words that you utter;
One after the other,
As they fall from your lips,
Like Rajnigandha blossoms,
When they reach my ears-
Become just Radha! Radhan!
The words, countless perhaps;
But their meaning just one-
Me! Me! only Me!
Then How My Kanu,
Will you explain
History to Me???


Ek Prashn-Just One Question

Alright My Kanu!
The Mighty Krishna!
Just suppose for a moment
That I grant
That those moments of bliss, ecstasy
Were just figments
of my colourful imagination
Just wishful thinking, dreams-
And that those words were mere sounds
Hollow and meaningless-

Even if I accept
Just for a moment
That sin, redemption
Duty, Justice, Punishment
Are all the whole Truths,
The Only Truths-

Even then I am helpless
My Kanu!
I still remain
the very same
Ignorant lass
Your frivolous playmate
Who knows only what you tell her
Even if I collate
all that you have given me
I fail to understand
This Mighty Truth-
This War,This Destruction-

The placid waters
of the Yamuna,
Where I used to sit for hours together;
Gazing at my reflection-
Today on its banks,
Are countless ships and boats;
Filled with weapons of Death!
Where are they bound ?
Those broken bits of chariots,
Shreds of torn flags-
Whose are those?

Defeated soldiers,
Victorious soldiers
The roars that resound the skies
The stories of War
Of pain, of sorrow..
Tell me ,Is this The Truth?
Did you beckon the vultures?
Like you used to beckon
your meek cattle once?
Is this The Truth
And not That which has passed?
I fail to understand Kanu,
It is beyond my limited
powersof comprehension
Someday, please have pity
And kindly explain to me
Just as you did To
The Valiant Arjuna
Tell me what is Truth?
What is the Meaning of all this?
And then perhaps
I shall accept that
The words that we spoke
Were perhaps
mere sounds, Hollow, meaningless-
Just dreams and not Reality!


Amangal Chaaya -Inauspicious Shadow

Hey Radhe!
Today as you return
from the riverside;
Tread not the path-
Where the Kadamba tree stands
Where He used to wait for you
That place where you used to pay
HimHumble Obeisance
Tread not that path anymore!

The trampled leaves,
The rising dust,
The barren path,
Dont they reveal today
That Krishna's
Eighteen Akshahauni army
Will march by
This very path
Onward to the Battlefield!

Oh foolish lass!
Step aside-
Conceal your wounded Love,
Bide your broken heart,
To pound no more!
Today Krishnas army
Intoxicated by the thirst for blood
Shall march this way!

Agreed, Kanu is yours;
True, you are familiar
with every pore of His
But so does the Huge army
That belongs to Him
And they know you not
So step aside you foolish lass!

This bough of the Aamr tree
Was dear to Him,
As it is to you-
Every evening he used to wait-
Standing here,
For you to come-
Standing here,
He used to
Call your name on
His flute!

Today the very same bough
Is in the way
Of the Mighty army-
It stands a hurdle
To the speeding chariots!
The sky high flags
Shall get caught in its branches!
The shady Asoka tree
too is in the way-
So what if they are felled?
So what if they are uprooted?
So what if the Army tramples
On Memories underfoot?
The village has to hang
festoons and capers
To welcome
The Mighty Army!

Why are you sad?
Oh foolish lass?
What if todays Krishna
Remains a stranger;
What if Krishna
Is different from Kanu?

Do not shed a tear-
Do not lose heart-
True, in this war;
The song of your love
Has been drowned -
Everything is lost!

Rise in pride!
Hey Radha!
Just remember, your Beloved
Has an Eighteen Akshahauni Army
Under Him!
Who else can boast
of such an honour???


Usi Aam Ke Neeche- Beneath the same Aamr tree

Those words that I uttered
As I hid my flushed face
In your bosom-
Today, I Wonder
if they ever meant anything????

When I proudly claimed
To have held
Time a prisoner
In my tressesToday
I wonder
Did that really happen?
Was all that merely a dream
Or Reality?
I can no longer remember-
all I know is
Even today-coming here
beneath this tree
Where you called my name
On your flute
My tormented soul
Finds solace and peace-

Nay, I refuse to think
I refuse to remember
Yet my restless, wanton fingers
They trace your name in the soil
Unknown to me
The very name
Which I call you by
During moments of our love
And suddenly I start!
I erase the name
That my treacherous fingers
Have traced in the soil-
Without remorse, regret-
What have I been reduced to?
Just an automaton
That at one moment
Scribes your name
And in the next
Erases it away-
without remorse?

Dusk falls-
I sit silently
In the gentle shade of
Our Aamr tree
A whiff of breeze
Gently caresses my cheek
Plays with my hair
I close my eyes
I try to imagine
That day when I sheltered you
In the folds of my garment
To protect you from the rain
And today
You are so far away-
Beyond reach
You have scaled
unattainable heights
But I cannot think further
Only that, here where you
Once gave me endless love
Today, I sit picking
Pebbles, straw and stones
Oh Kanu, tell me
What have I lost-
In your becoming A Legend?
What price did I have to pay
In your achieving Glory
I lie broken, unwanted, abandoned-

I still come here
Here, where we spent
Some blissful moments
The ground is strewn with
Fiery blossoms
All that remains even now
What has changed is
That, now I come alone-.
The parting in my hair is colourless
My steps falter
I return unfulfilled, desolate
Lost, forlorn-

Tell me, My Kanu,
All those words
That I spoke,
that you spoke
were they mere sounds?
Did they mean nothing?
Was all that just a Dream?
Or Wishful thinking?
I know not!!!???


Sethu-Main- A Bridge?

From the valley below,
To the mountains high-
He who had to go
Has left!
Trampling underneath-
Me-History has snatched-
You from my arms!

Tell me, My Kanu,
Was I but aStepping stone?
Merely a channel
Crossing the chasm-
Between the playground
and the battlefield?

Now, these desolate peaks
My body-
the fragile gold beaded bridge-
Suspended between the valleys of Death
Deserted, Useless
Quivering, shuddering
I remain-the broken link-

He who had to leave
has left-


Vipralabdha- The Lovelorn

The flames have died out
Only the ashes remain-
the moon has set
there is no melody,only noise
the magic, the effulgence, the ecstasy
all a thing of the past
just a few beads
in the broken string of memories...

The flowers have wilted
No fragrance
Just a whiff of stench lingers
Yesterday in my heart
There was mirth and joy
Today fear, silence, sorrow reigns

My mind once a temple
An idol was worshipped
Offerings made
Today in ruins
Idol remains
Offerings still made
Alas-prayers remain unfulfilled
No fruits received

The mirror of my mind
Once dazzled in your love
Alas! All that was yesterday
Today, on it has collected
The dust of Estrangement
The reflections are
Dim, misty, grotesque-

Tell me, who was it
That held in her tresses
Time a prisoner
Was that I?
Tell me who was it
That bade Nature
To stand awaiting at her door
Was that I?
Tell me, my Kanu,
Was that really me
Who as I lay in your arms
Was Light, Power and Magic
You left-like the arrow
I remain like the empty quiver
Shuddering in rebound
Today what is left of me
Just me, my body, and my memories-

I remain trapped in the past
Hostage to memories
Of your embrace
My tresses that held Time captive
Alas! The very same snake shackles
Today imprison me-

Now, just me, my body
My Life-a Daze?
Like a cinder hidden among ashes
Like the last drop
In an empty vessel-
Like a mournful croon-
rising in having gained and then lost

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Srushti Sankalp-3


Today night-the very air
hints of our Union
The touch of the breeze
Sends shivers down my body
The piercing darkness all around
Is thick with desire
My eyes, lips, arms, feet
Are no longer mine
I feel myself
Sinking into the encompassing darkness
I am lost -I am not Me.

And the fear,
The primordial fear,
The nameless, formless fear-
That had been haunting me
until now
Which had taken me away,
far away from You,
has left me-and now
I return to you,with renewed vigour-
The fingers of fear have-
Loosened their clutches
And my inhibitions, hesitation, shyness,
Have melted away..
Helplessly, I reach out for you-

My parted lips quiver,
My throat is parched,
My eyelids droop,
My body turns limp

I clasp you in
My embraceTight,
tighterClose, closer
Your fragrant breath enters me
Your life enters mine
Your blood flows in my veins
And my limp body surges with Life
I am reborn!

My embrace is merciless,
Blind, intoxicated
My embrace is like the vice grip
Of the Serpent Bride
And there are Love bites
On your shoulder, lips and arms!

You are restless
Like the depthless, raging ocean
In the flaming Sun,
Like the little Island
Besieged by lashing waves!

Arise, My Lord!
And shut the windows-
With your shivering hands
The ocean you see outside
Is Just me-
Yet I do not want to cast
my eye upon her
The stars, the planets
The entire galaxy
Is But me
Yet tonight I want to forget Everything
- Me, myself!
Arise, shut the windows
Tonight even darkness
has vision
The breeze blowing outside
Is vicious
And I am afraid of Myself!

Lo! I am Free!
All my fickle companions
Shyness, Fear, doubt,
Reticence, Sorrow
Have all forsaken me-
My eyes are no longer eyes
They are but moments
Of Anticipation
My arms are now paths
That bring you to me
And this rosy, oyester body of mine
Is now merely a call,
beckoning you to me!

Arise My Darling!
Draw the blinds
Bid the Ocean
To return from the door
Let SpaceBe dissolved in our Union
Command Time-The ruthless Archer
To replace his arrows
Into his quiver
To split his bow
And await patiently
At our door
As long as our Love play
Remains paused
And I sink into
Blissful Oblivion!

Come to me My Lord!
The whole of Creation
Is now dissolved,
I have held captive-
In my flowing tresses,
Time and Space.
The whole Cosmos
Is now Just You and Me..
I-your eternal Consort!

Srushti Sankalp-2

Aadim Bhay- Primordial Fear

If this entire creation
Is nothing but Me
And I am born just for You-

The lofty mountains,
The deep Oceans,
The shimmering Moonlight,
The clouds and the winds,
The west flowing streams,
The twilight of dusk,
All these are but me-
If the dark night is but my depths;
And the day, my laughter,
The flowers, my touch,
The greenery, my embrace-
Then my Dearest
Why is it that Now and then,
I am still afraid?

Often I stand upon
The lonely banks of the Milkyway
And I gaze at the numerous
Suns burning bright
I watch as they turn into
Miserable, crawling glowworms
That have lost their wings
Lost in the caves of mist;
And I return Cringing in fear.

Why so My Lord?
Is not the Milkyway
The parting in my tresses?
Then why does its mystery
Frighten me so?

And often when I stand gazing
At the vastness of The Lunar expanse
And I see the countless meteors,
Come crashing down in all directions
Into the deep valleys
I see the flaming hailstones scattering-
Crumbling the diamond hard rocks,
Into smithereens-
As if they were just withering flowers!

Why is it that I get so scared
And I withdraw my steps,
Is not the Moon
The spot on my forehead?

And if all the Enigma of Nature
Are nothing but me
And if I am your desire,
Your decision,
If the entire Creation
Is besides me,
just You And only You
Then whom am I afraid of?

And if the Moon is
But My hand print
And it waxes and wanes
Upon my whims-
And the Milky way,
Is but my flowing tresses,
And the entire Cosmos-
Changes its direction of motion
With just a cue from me,
Then who is it that I am afraid of?

From where is it that
This fear that haunts my soul
Settles on like heavy mist
Spreading its menacing hood
Upon my weary body?

Who is it that
Has cast this net of Terror
In which I am caught helpless?
And I struggle to break free
Like a trapped mermaid-
There is wet sticky algae
Caught in my hair-
The gems of virtue
Have fallen from my grasp-
And I am terrified!

Hear me, My Lord!
If this Cosmos is just me,
If I am but your shadow,
Then What do I fear?
Why do I fear?
Pray, tell me my Lord!

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Kanupriya- Srushtisankalp-1

Srujan Sangini-Eternal Consort

Tell me My beloved,
The Sun, The Moon,
In their tireless, endless journeys-
The roaring Ocean,The whirling Winds,
The leaves blowing in the breeze,
The flowers blossoming in the Sun,
The river shimmering in Moonlight,
All these, are they bound
To your Whims and Fancies?

The Fertility of the Earth,
The green of the leaves,
The ripening of the fruits,
The fragrance of the Flowers,
Tell me, All these cater to your whims?

If yes, then tell me My Lord,
What is the Meaning, The Reason
Behind Your Desire, your Decision?
Who is it that you seek?
On whose trail have you set
The Sun and The Moon?
Whose name is that you call
In the resounding octaves of the Storm?
For whom are you reaching out
Along the endless arms of the Ocean
Whose soul is it that you seek
In the budding blossoms
Who is it that you have held captive
Within your arms, in your heart, your voice?
It is Me, My Darling!
It is Me that you are waiting for!
It is Me that you seek!

And this Entire Creation dissolves
After moments of Spent Passion
When I lie in your armsLight as foam
I am just a Void
Void Within- Void Without
And you, in the throes of
My passion,
My Love for you
Are helpless,
You seek me again and again
In the Darkness of the Night
You wake me up-
To fulfil our Unsatiable Love
And I succumbTo Your Wish, Your Desire-

And in the silence of the Night
Quivering Bodies meet
Feverish caresses
Crushing Arms
Suppressed sighs
Fragrant BreathsAnd Finally-
Mute EcstasyPleasurable Fatigue;
Creation Awaits-

As I lie light as void
spent, unmoving-
again you awake me
and again we are carried along
The waves of our Passion,Our Desire,
Our Love is but a repeating cycle
Of Unsatiated Love,
Of Unbridled passion,
Oh My Lord!Creation is
but your Passion
Your Passion is your Love
And your Love is
your Desire
And Your Desire is-
Me, Only Me!


Tum Mere Kaun Ho???-Who are you to Me??

To date, I have failed to understand
Who are you to me
My Mind keeps repeating
Stubbornly, wonderingly, soulfully-

Who is this Kanu to you, do tell us,
My friends keep asking-
Teasing, taunting, accusing-
Who is Kanu to you?
Why dont you tell us?
My elders keep asking me
Rudely, unhappily, angrily
After all who is this Kanu to you???

And to date
I have been unable to give them an answer
Neither to me nor to them
For I too am at a loss
Who are you really to me, my Kanu?

Often when you clamber
Over thorny shrubs
To pluck blossoms
For my garland
Then in utter mirth
Swinging my long tresses
I murmurKanu is my Eternal Playmate!

Often when I am lost
In the deep forests
Running helplessly,in panic
Among fiery bushes
And blinding smoke
And you come to my rescue
You swoop me in your strong arms
As if I were a flower
And emerge out of
The licking flames
My being is filled withAwe,
gratitude and deep affection
And in a voice thick with emotionI murmur-
Kanha is my protector,my guardian, my brother!-

Often, when you call my name in your flute
And I am drawn towards you as if in trance
Like an intoxicated doe
You then crush me in your passionate embrace
I sigh, I murmur
Kanu Dearest, You are my Goal,
My ideal, my Essence;
My be all and end all!

But at times when you cruelly taunt me
Tease me in front of my friends
Then I am annoyed, offended, saddened
My eyes fill with unshed tears
And I vow
Kanu is No one to me-

But the very next moment
When clouds darken the horizon
Thunder bolts and Lightning strikes
Torrents of Rain
lash the earth
The forest path has been washed away
And I hurry to gather you
in the folds of my garment
I have to protect you
I lead you to shelter
To the outskirts of the village
And shall I confess to you My Dark One?
At that moment
I totally forget
How trivial a being I am
And that you are the very same Krishna
Who had protected entire Vrindavan
From the Fury of Floods
For the moment all that I know is
You are an infant
Drenched and helpless
And it is upto me and Me only
To protect you, shelter you!

And when I recounted to my friends
Of how I stood
at the outskirts of the village
clutching you to my bosom;
of how I wiped dry your -
crown of hair with my garment-
and hearing of my lavish affection
showered upon you,
My friends exchange knowing smiles;
Their eyes glinting with hidden mischief
Till today I know not why????

But when you in all Magnificence
challenged Mighty Indra
And you curdled
the poisoned waters
Of The Yamuna
In search of The Tyrant Serpent Kalia
Then suddenly I realize
Effulgence radiating from my being
I am your Shakthi!Your Yogamaya!
You are Purusha!I am Prakrithi!
I am The Omniscient!
I am Omnipotent!
I am You,You are Me!
Limitless, Formless, Endless-Power, Valour, Might!

But the very next Moment,
When You filled the parting in my hair,
With the fiery Aamr blossoms;
In the twilight glow of Dusk;
I am stunned, flustered,
And from The All pervading-
Power, Light,
MotionOf The entire Cosmos-
That I was;
I am suddenly
reduced to Nothingness,
I am bound within a miniscule existence-
Did You wish it so My Lord?

But I am aroused from my stupor
Realisation dawns
There are no limits, no boundaries
I am Your Eternal Bride
Your Cosmic Consort
Beyond time, beyond Space
From Time Immemorial
I have been Your Co-traveller
Along this Journey
thatHas no Beginning, No End
We were, We are, We shall-

But stubborn that you are
You take pleasure in tormenting me
You expect me to experience
Our Cosmic Bond
Within the limits of this Mortal Life
Retrace our Eternal steps
Within the confines
Of a single Birth
And hence I am lost
in the Maze of Relationships
I have had to take
such turns and bends
in this journey with you
That I keep forgetting
who I am
And Who You are to me!

And from the bottom less abyss
Of this world
I am faced by a volley of questions-
Frightened, I have tried in vain
to bind you
Within the shackles of Language:
Play mate, Guardian,
Divine, Co-traveller-

In vain I try to explain
To give a name to myself
Friend, Ward,
Bride, Co-traveller!

Again and Again
I try To cross
the Chasm of Definitions
I try to reach out to you
But again and again
YouElude me
I reach for the Shore
But you are theBottomless Ocean
Which swallows me whole
I cease to be-
And yet- I remain
baffled, perplexed
I look askance
Oh tell me I beseech You,
My Kanha, who are you?????

Monday, January 03, 2005

Manjari Parinay- 2

Aamr Baur Ka Arth-The meaning of the Aamr Baur

My dearest,
Please do not get annoyed with me
For not having understood
The significance of the Aamr blossoms!

Many a time,
when you sent me
A half opened lotus bud
I understood that you
Had called me by twilight-

Many a time when you sent
A bunch of Bela blossoms
I understood that you were waiting-

Many a time when you sent
Two fiery Agasthya flowers
I understood that you
Wanted to adorn my feet
With the redness of the flowers-

Today, if I failed to understand
The significance of the Aamr blossoms
Do you have to get
So offended?
True, you have often told me,
"Radhan, your fluttering eyelashes
Are but trails that lead me to you"
So often have you said,
"Radhan, Your fragile slender arms
Beckon to me";
So many times have you said-
"Radhan,Your lips, your eyelashes,
your arms, your feet,lead me to you".

You of the Sandalwood fragrance,
Many a time
In your embrace
I have found myself just merging into you.
Released from the bondage of the body;
I am just a whiff of fragrance,
Like that of the Rajnigandha flowers;
That blossom at midnight...
So also in your arms,
I am rendered formless,
limitless, colourless!

Oh thou who sculpts my form!
Was the parting in my tresses
The Ultimate challenge
Which you sought to overcome
By strewing upon it
The fiery Aamr blossoms?
How did I forget
that my Eternal playmate
Always sought to-
remove by putting in,
Dissolve by adding;
Was the parting in my tresses
The Final Barrier?
That you removed by filling in
With the fresh, pure, pungent blossoms?

And me-The fool that I was-
Failed to grasp the inner meaning
But don't you know me my Kanu,
I am the very same fickle lass
Who on filling my pitcher with water;
Seeing the reflection of my winsome eyes
Mistook them for fish
And threw away the water!

Oh my friend!
Forgive my ignorance
But pray do not restrict me.
Let me be;
Some day, perhaps
my ignorance shall dissolve
And if not then what?
Won't you still take me in your arms?
Sometimes annoyed, at other times amused.
Sometimes angry;
Yet with Love and Passion.
Pray, tell me, why then should I let go?
I shall keep committing such follies
Am I not your Stubborn,
naughty, ignorant playmate?

And tonight in the clutches of solitude-
when I am far away-
From your sandalwood embrace,
In the abyssymal darkness of the night;
As my body writhes
in the throes of seperation-
The agony reveals to me,
Your language of the Aamr blossoms
That you had scribed in
The parting of my hair.

The Aamr blossoms have a pungent fragrance
So have you said to me-
That its the very same pungence
That you find within me
And which you cherish so!

Those virgin blossoms
were the first of the season
Untouched, fresh and pure
And so was I, My lord!

Then was it that
The bough that leaned towards you
Those fresh virgin blossoms
With which you filled
the Parting in my tresses

Was that Me?
Why My Dearest?
Is that why you oft repeated
That you loved me not for yourself
But for me?
Is that what you wanted to proclaim
That You were symbolically marrying me
With my own being, my own essence?

And when you commanded me
to cover my face with the Bridal veil
Were you conveying
That I was to cherish
My Essence, my purity?

Alas! I have to admit
I failed to comprehend
The hidden meanings of your actions
Your Love that is far removed
from The Mortal Reality-
Tell me, is it easy to understand
The Language of Your Love,
And that too by Me-
Who tends to forget ordinary Language,
In the intoxication of your Love-
How can you expect
Me to understand
Your cosmic language!

Poor Me! Who made herself
A laughing stock
By raving and ranting your name aloud
Along the streets and alleys
How can then it be my fault
If I failed to understand
The script of the Aamr blossoms
That you scribed in the parting of my hair?

And now in this wretched solitude
Far away from you
As I writhe in the throes of Seperation...
The pungent fragrance
of the Aamr blossoms
In my hair reveal to me
The Eternal Cosmic Secret!
Realisation Dawns!
The Secret Of your Love
That which assimilates, absolves, binds
And yet liberates-
Alas! Why do you abandon me My Lord?
Only to savour the agony
To experience the various shades and hues
of Sorrow in your Separation???

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Manjari Parinay -1

Aamr Baur ka Geet-The song of the Aamr Baur

At times when I fail to respond
While in your arms
Why don't you understand My Lord?
Its not that I am unmoved;
Remember that shyness
is not just of the body
But of the mind too.
A sweet fear
An unknown doubt
An inexplicable ache
A yearning, a longing,
A sorrow;
Overcomes my being
Even at those moments of bliss.

Fear, Doubt, Reticence, Sorrow
Like fickle friends, overcome me
I am rendered helpless
And then I am unable to come to you
When you call my name on your flute..

That day, as you waited for me
Standing by the blossom laden Aamr tree;
The setting rays shedding its melancholic glow,
Upon the peacock feathers on your forehead...
Helplessly, I bid farewell
I did not come.

The cows gazed upon you;
With their innocent upturned eyes
Then slowly retraced their steps
Along the path home
Leaving you forlorn
Yet I did not come.

Dusk fell;
The fishermen trudged wearily homewards
The oars on their shoulders
From the shores of the Yamuna
Still I did not come.

You set aside the Flute
Silent, desolate, Lonely
You remained waiting
Under the Aamr tree
You plucked a bunch of Aamr blossoms
From a low leaning branch

You took slow hesitant steps
Along the oneway path
But do you realize what your fingers did?
Unknown even to you
Your fingers ,they
Scattered the Aamr blossoms
Strew it along the bare, pure forest path!

What have you done my Lord?
What is it that you are trying to convey?
Is it that you were symbolically filling
the pure, untouched parting in my hair?
But Alas! Woe upon me!
I did not realize the significance of your deed
And blessed with the effulgence of ethereal wedlock;
Hiding my radiant face in my Bridal veil,
To seek your blessings
I did not come.

Oh Lord of Mine!
Please do not forget
I am the very same fickle lass
Whose feet, when you took unto your lap
To adorn it with the redness of the forest flowers
My body shuddering in shyness
I withdrew my feet hastily
And crushing them between my knees
I sat unmoving-
My heart pounding-
But when dusk fell;
In the solitude of the twilight hour,
In the confines of my home,
I kept gazing at my feet with unblinking eyes,
And slowly, stealthily, softly,
I kissed my blessed feet.

The night has deepened,
You have gone-
Sad, lonely, disappointed;
My tears, they flow unchecked;
I embrace the Aamr tree,
Where you waited for me...

And I return,
Tired and depressed-
The scattered blossoms-
Pierce my feet;
But who will tell you,
My Dusky Lord,
You had called for me,
And I heard you,
That late though,
Come I did...
That my feet were hurt and bruised;
By the blossoms, pebbles and thorns,
Not that the path was long;
But that I ran along.
How will I let you know-
That at those moments of our Sublime union;
Its not that I break away from you,
But that shyness is not merely of the body;
But of the mind too.

An unknown fear,
A nameless doubt,
A yearning, a longing,
An undefined sorrow-
All these barriers have I to break-
To reach across to You
But come I will
Perhaps a little late
Yet I shall come
To you, My Life,
Won't you then take me in your arms
In your eternal Embrace
Oh My Dusky Lord??


Radha addresses the Asoka tree standing by the wayside. She asks it why has it been waiting so long to blossom, was it waiting for the touch of her feet to bloom? She reminds the tree that she had always been within it- in its roots, bark and leaves. She accuses it of not being aware of her presence . She had been waiting all along for spring to awaken her and blossom out as its flowers, fruits, fragrance and colour.

Radha addresses the Divine Melody within her, Today all of a sudden, you have burst into song from the lyre of my body! Melody springs from every pore, from the depths of my soul. How long have you been hidden within me, waiting to burst into song?

Radha describes her first meeting Krishna standing below the Kadamba tree, apparently indifferent to Radhas presence and how she mistook him for a Forest Deity lost in meditation. Only later does she realize that Krishna was so enamored by her salutations that He wanted to possess her wholly and was not to be satisfied by mere obeisance!

Radha, while bathing in the blue waters of the Yamuna, as she sees her quivering reflection in the water like a water creeper, imagines that she is in the arms of Krishna. She imagines that Krishna has removed all barriers and has taken her into His eternal embrace.
Radha is haunted by the fact that she returned from Krishna's side on the night of the Raas. She regrets having left Him and pines to be united with Him.

Tired after the day’s chores
I come here under the shade of the Kadamba
Weak, listless, I lay myself down-
Regret, Repentance taunts my soul
Oh! Why did I return from your side
That night of the Raas?
These feet of mine
That danced to the tune of your lute
In circumambulation of your blue hued self
How did they find their way back home
Oh why did I return?
Why did I not surrender myself to you
Fully and wholly?
Ah! you welcomed me
You received me
And you sent me home fulfilled
And now I am left
Pining for you
Yearning for you
What is it that you intend?
When I do not wish to come
You pull me along as if in a trance
By the deep resonant notes of your flute
And when I do not want to leave
You send me away
Leaving me yearning, pining...

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Synopsis of Kanupriya

This book of Poetry the poet has attempted to describe and define the relationship of Radha andKrishna from the point of view of Radha. The entire composition has been divided into four sections: Poorvraag, Manjari Parinay, Srishti Sankalp, and finally Itihaas.


As the name suggests, in this section, the poet describes the first meeting between Radha and Krishna. Of how Krishna pretends to be indifferent to Radha in the beginning and later how he demands nothing short of complete surrender. Radha right from the beginning suspects that Krishna is a part of her being and that they are in fact one. The physical distance between them makes her feel incomplete and she yearns for union with her Lord, but at the same time she is unable to cross the barriers of the Society as well as that of her own innate shyness. She regrets that she left him yearning for her.There is a sense of dissolution of the self, blending into the Eternal. Radha sees Krishna in the Nature around her- in the swirling waters of the Yamuna that caresses her as she bathes.The situation described in this section could be likened to the yearning of the soul to become One with God/ Brahman-The Spiritual Union is perhaps projected, as the extension of the Physical consummation of Radha's and Krishna's Love, the soul yearning for dissolution in the Brahman.

Manjari Parinay:

In this section Radha attempts to define her relationship, to put a name to the relationship she has with Krishna. At times she finds a name, but at other times she is confused-We are given to understand that they have consummated their love. However Radha's mind is filled with doubt, fear, sadness, pain-This fear prevents her from going to Krishna when he calls out to her, but later she cannot stay back, and she pleads with him to understand her plight, her fears- The fact that they are not married obviously bothers her and she asks of Krishna that in scattering the saffron flowers of the "Aamra Baur" did he indicate that he was filling her "sooni maang"-the symbolic filling of the parting in her hair signifying holy wedlock? She asks of him whether he was attempting to remove the ultimate obstacle- that of their non-married status symbolically by filling the bare forest path with the "Aamra Baur"blossoms. Radha pleads with him that she who forgets ordinary language itself in his thoughts, how could he expect her to understand the language of his which was far removed from the ordinary scheme of things? She appeals to her Kanu to forgive her naivette, in not understanding the significance of his actions. Only in moments of separation from her Lord, in the throes of agony of estrangement, does realization dawn upon her, the hidden implication of Krishna's actions. Baffled by the questions of everyone around, Radha attempts to define, to give a name to her relationship with Krishna.She sometimes feels, Kanu is her eternal playmate, at other times he is her protector/ guardian. Sometimes she feels maternal towards him as if he were an infant in need of protection. Yet at other times, She senses that Kanu and herself are one entity- The Omniscient, Omnipotent- The All Pervading Reality. Then there were those instances, when he taunted and harassed her that she felt alienated from him. At certain times, she realized that He was Purusha and She was Prakrithi / Shakthi/ Yogamaya. Radha realizes that she is Kanus Eternal Bride, His Cosmic Consort who has been traveling with Him from the beginning of Time. They were co-travelers on a journey that had no beginning and knew no end-she complains that Kanu took pleasure in tormenting her, he expected her to experience their cosmic bond within the confines of a mortal life, to retrace their eternal steps within the limits of a single birth, which was impossible. Faced by the volley of questions from all around, she ends up confused, flustered and at crossroads- Ultimately, He was her goal, Destination, Salvation.Again and again, Radha attempts to cross the chasm of definitions, to reach out for Her Kanu, but he eludes her. She beseeches Him to reveal to Her, Who He was to her-She realizes the futility in trying to give a name to their relationship because; their bond was of so many dimensions and hues, that defied language. It transcended the boundaries of time, space and name..It was beyond the comprehension of the mortal, tangible world. For the same reason, The Radha Krishna relationship remains an Eternal Mystery from time immemorial.

Srushti Sankalp:

Radha is the victim of The Primordial Fear that haunts every woman, that of being abandoned by her Beloved. She is filled with a sense of foreboding, of a bleak future without Her Lord by her side-a premonition of the coming events.
Radha is filled with fear and a deep sense of insecurity. She understands that she is a part of Creation, of Nature-she identifies with the high mountains, the deep oceans, the piercing darkness, the shimmering moon, the lush greenery, the Milky way, The cosmos of the galaxies- and yet a fear pervades her being, she writhes in agony like a fish out of water-she is terrified of losing her Lord.
Finally, all barriers - that of acute shyness, a nameless fear, yearning, an undefined sorrow, have been crossed, the time has come for Consummation of their Divine Love, The Ultimate Union, The Dissolution of the Universe when Purusha and Prakruthi merge-even Nature seems to have been waiting for The moment-Radha emerges as The Eternal Lover who overpowers her Lover by her unbridled passion and Unsatiated Love. She commands her beloved to draw the blinds, to close the windows and doors so that for once, Nature stands awaiting- The Mute Witness while they enact their Divine Love Play. She wishes to stay separate from Nature, and merely exist as a Beckoning- a call for Her Kanu. She bade the Ocean to wait at the door; she bade Time and Space to stand still. She claims that Time is now held prisoner in the braids of her tresses.
In this section, Spiritual Love is projected as Physical Expression, where the lovers remain unsatiated and there is yearning for consummation again and again- and the whole of creation dissolves-


Kanu has left-to create History leaving a forlorn, lost Radha behind. Radha is inconsolable; Life has become an agony, an ache, a void. She spends her days reliving the memories of her moments with Kanu.

Radha wonders if she was but a bridge to cross over for Krishna on the way to create History, just a game to play to while away childhood- her dreams and desires trampled underfoot. She is no longer sure if what has passed was true or if it were just a dream, wishful thinking. She wonders if all those words that she spoke and he heard, that he spoke and she heard were true or figments of her imagination. She asks of Kanu if those words meant nothing and were mere sounds- hollow and meaningless. She claims that History owed a lot to her, because she was the one who paid a price and the world was to gain at her cost.

Radha mourns because, the Aam tree that stood witness to their meetings, their love, was to be cut down, for it was in the way of the charging armies of Krishna! She realizes that the Kanu she had known was somebody very different from the Krishna leading his eighteen Akshahauni army-she cannot find solace in the fact that the Krishna who now led a mighty army was once her very own Kanu-Radha beseeches Krishna to explain to her, as He did to Arjuna, the meanings of words like Duty, Faith, Justice, Punishment, which to her ears were mere sounds, hollow and meaningless. She doesn't know what the war is all about, and on whose side she was. But she warns him that she might not be able to comprehend the meanings of these terms because as they fall upon her ears, they sound like :Radhan, Radhan, Radhan: Still, she envies Arjuna, because he was able to sit by him and gaze at his moving lips, his dusky body, slender neck, sandal arms, uplifted eyes-She yearns to just sit by him, watch him talk, gaze at him without batting an eyelid to let his words- whatever be their meaning and essence, seep through her senses, permeate her soul and saturate her being.

The war is over, but at what cost? Who has won, who has lost? Radha tells Kanu that she saw the Ocean in her dream..she saw Kanu exhausted, sad, desolate and lonely-History staggers onward on crutches-.and Kanu has finally remembered her-he is seeking her for solace, for comfort; finally he has abandoned History like old clothing, and depressed he yearns to go to Radha for comfort- And Kanupriya /Radha has been waiting to join her Kanu!

Preface to Kanupriya

There are those moments when one feels that, when confronted by the ceaseless forces that relentlessly prod the flow of History; one is helpless- one has no choice but to be carried along with the current of Destiny. One finds oneself in a position of conflict- sometimes as a rebel against the current, at other times holding the reins in ones hands in full control, flowing along placidly, and then there are those times when one has to simply let go and meekly succumb to Fate in a gesture of mute surrender. But then there are those other moments when one feels that all these external forces have no significance whatsoever. What is important is, that which is nurtured within us at the time of Dissolution of the Self- a stage where the entire external cosmic phenomenon- creation as a whole-becomes trivial- that moment when one feels as if the self has been prised open like an oyster-the past, the present and the future is reduced to void and the I is dissolved, i.e. : becomes nonexistent.

Attempt has been made to strike a balance- where the two levels or stages are brought to a meaningful coexistence, but this quest is generally rendered futile. Such a situation is almost utopian fallacy and one is left with no choice but to resort to easier solutions; that is to draw an endless line of demarcation between the two stages and then standing at one point, claim that the other point is illusion and vice versa. The other alternative being that one can first live and experience one stage in all its totality and essence, believing it to be the Ultimate True experience, then later face the next stage, seek its solution forgetting the previous experience completely and let this transfer of experiences of the different stages in the course of Time be a continuous affair. Gradually, one gets accustomed to the incongruence of the difference in realities in the two stages. Then perhaps can one claim that it is this very diversity of the contradictory situations, the coexistence of paradoxical experiences that characterizes the personality of Human existence. And that the human personality is unique, because he succeeds in living through the diverse situations without settling for a compromise.

But Alas! What about those who have lived a life of utter simplicity taking instances, experiences as they come, living the present moment to the fullest, savouring its flavour and essence, seeking and perhaps finding in them a meaning to their lives and who are left unmoved by the magnificence of the Cosmic Reality. They who are not overwhelmed by the surreality of the meaning of life in totality. Such people are contented with things as they are; they are satisfied to know that Reality is simple, natural with all the strings attached perhaps. But to the seeker of the Beyond, the mundane poses innumerable questions to which he relentlessly seeks answers, he is dissatisfied with the business of existence, which to him seems trivial in the face of the general scheme of cosmic reality. To whom does he turn to for answers?

This is what perhaps Kanupriya attempts to probe-The individual relates personal experiences to his miniscule self as it applies to his day to day existence, but gradually he is compelled to evolve in his understanding of the Universe in its entirety. He is confronted with the colossal Reality, of which he is but an atom. This collection of poems, then perhaps is an attempt to trudge those very paths that the seeker treads, in his quest of Self-discovery.

Poorvaraag and Manjari Parinay is the first stage,
Srushti Sankalp- the second, Itihaas- describing Krishna's stint as a ruler/diplomat followed bySamaapan which is the final stage of self unfoldment, each described from the viewpoint of Kanupriya/ Radha.It is interesting to note that Radha does not make this path of discovery consciously, her quest for self unfoldment was purely unconscious, a spontaneous chain of incidents and reactions of an emotionally sensitive individual who is carried away by the various events and experiences and she attains the final stage of Understanding as a result of gradual spiritual evolution.

The poet has through the legend of Radha and Krishna, brought out the spiritual evolution of the individual by harmoniously combining the mythological situation with the contemporary times in the modern context.

Kanupriya: Abt the poet Dr. Dharamveer Bharthi

I was introduced to Dr. Dharamveer Bharti's -Kanupriya- when I was doing my graduation way back in 1986. This collection of poems, its lyrical quality, the underlying philosophy and the sheer beauty of the language fascinated me. I attempted to work out a translation of this beautiful work simply in an enthusiasm to share my fascination. Need less to say, this feeble attempt is eons away from the magnificent original.

About Dharamveer Bharthi:

Dr. Dharamveer Bharti was born on 25th December 1926 in Prayaag. He completed his M.A. from the Prayaag University with a first class and later did his doctoral thesis under the guidance of Dr. Dheerendra Varma.He was the assistant editor of Sangam in 1948. He continued in this capacity for two years, after which he taught at the Hindusthani Academy till 1960.

While teaching at the Prayaag University, he helped in compiling the Hindi Sahithya Kosh. He also edited the Alochana and later brought out the magazine-Nikash: He came down to Bombay as the Chief Editor of :Dharma Yug:A young storywriter Uday Prakash directed a documentary film on Dr. Dharamveer Bharti for the Sahitya Academy Delhi in 1999.He passed away on 4 Th September 1997.He was awarded the Padmashri in 1972. In 1984, he received the Haldi Ghati Shreshth Patrakaarita Puraskaar by the Maharana Mewad Foundation. In 1988, he was awarded the Sarvashreshth Naatakkaar (Best playwright) Puraskaar from the Sangeet Naatak Academy- Delhi. He received the Bhaarath Bhaarthi Award from the Uttarpradesh Hindi Sansthaan in 1989. The Maharashtra Government gave him the title of Maharashtra Gaurav in 1990 and in 1994; the Birla Foundation honoured him with the Vyaas Samman .


Stories: Murdon Ka Gaav, Swarg aur Prithvi, Chaand Aur Toote Hue log, Band gali ki aakhri makaan, Saas ki kalam se.

Poems: Thanda loha, Andha yug, Saat geet varsh, Kanupriya, Sapna abhi bhi, Aadyaaanth.

Novels: Gunaahon ka Devta, sooraj ka satwaan ghoda, Gyaarah sapnon ka desh.

Essays: Thele par Himaalay, Pashyanthi.(Acknowledgements:

A young storywriter Uday Prakash directed a documentary film on Dr. Dharamveer Bharti for the Sahitya Academy Delhi in 1999.
He passed away on 4 th September 1997.

I have attempted to share my fascination with these poems here.Please excuse the imperfections in the translations.

Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to the Professor who taught us Kanupriya- Ms. Hemaji -Providence Womens' College-Kozhikkode.