Another wonderful chance to laugh at my ways! I had recently taken upon myself to clean my blog, and rid it of dead cobwebs unsuitable even for the spindly spider. Many posts grabbed my attention making me wonder Why on earth, did I write this? and still more had me wonder Why on earth, did I write this? But this one (originally date 16th June 2005 and never published) had served as a humble canvas on which I poured my mind’s image. I am want to believe that this exercise was part of the preparation for Alvibest’s 1st issue. I might be wrong, but a madman’s wrong is not always so!
The first part is the version of the poem I wanted to write. I have a different story to tell in this one. Typically I would have wanted to modify and polish this to the final version (I suppose that is what they call drafts). I seem to have gone ahead and prepared an entirely different one altogether. A similar incident happened to me when I was off to Bombay for a conference. I was rehearsing the presentation for a few days and each one of them came out differently. I wanted to record my presentation on my micro-recorder so that I could play it back and then polish it. I forgot it back home!! Believe it or not, I had 10-12 different styles of presenting those 9 slides and ended up rendering a totally different one in front of the audience. I was certain that no one would believe it until I stumbled across this draft!
My Lord, this is the most pinning evidence of this man’s unreliable mind!! 🙂

A walk like a breeze o’er the lake,How far should I go?
Gathering coolness and a placid dream.

She swayed and sashayed a little,

Every step pressed her deeper into me.

She’d laugh a little and then look
Such a gaze I’d dare not hold

But long after I did turn,
I gripped
Her eyes in my mind’s eye’s fold

Her hair was the wind’s playground
And it tickled her, oh! so well,
Like the pond does tease the passing breeze
With wrinkles and wavelets…

I ran to the highest tower
Which took me not far away

From the blessed road that carried her

Thus longer in my watch she’d stay

Why, sweet Chandralekha, why
Does my heart beat not loud enough?

Or do the tinkle of gold at your feet

Drown my passionate cries?

And as I watch her leave
With a smile, to her man’s arm

I pray she’d not find due joy

And yearn for my love’s warm.

And this is how the final version (which appeared in Alvibest) turned out!! 😀

Oh Chandralekha! A moon so bright
Do return and heal our ailing king.

His breath is laced with your name,

And dear little life does that bring.

Oh Chandralekha! Oh fairest one!
Does a lover’s heart need such pain?
For little did it know the vile life,

Of once loved and left in disdain.

The hand which lead a myriad spears And I shall rest thus...
And chariots that shook this very earth

Lies in that bed of thousand nights

Of yours and his and an aching dearth

Listen clear, subjects of Ashoka
‘Tis sad for kingliness to cease

And sadder still that a man’s lust

Does a million men to their knees

I am a woman for powerful men
And Ashoka was once at glory’s brim

He lies in a mire of decadence

What more could I have of him?

Why beseech me to save your ailing king?
I am born to weaken men at best

Myriad spears and thundering chariots,

Lie wasted in the beat of my tender breast

A woman is what they called me
Easy and bought with an ounce of gold

I come decked in flowers and scents

Warm their nights with a heart made cold

And as your king plunged into me
But carried her for his choice queen

I swore to all the gods above

A cry for a woman I’ve ne’er been

But, such irony should you know now.
No queen’s love nor divine egress

Can save him from his abject plight

While his heart desires my caress.

Return home, Oh men of Kalinga!
And remember what I have to say

A man’s world is in a woman’s arms

At birth, in glory and in morbid sway.

I love both of them. The first one is a raw nugget of gold panned from the filthiest waterways, and it is only that which a goldsmith accepts to work his loving turns into. Give him a well made armlet and all he might say is “Well, the thickness isn’t uniform, but it’s not that bad.” 🙂


6 thoughts on “Chandralekha

  1. like you said, the two versions are completely different from each other. if you look at it this way, the final version can be a sort of sequel to the first.

  2. Its like the number of permutations and combinations of emotions/colors that the same thought/situation can evoke in n instances of time.. Liked the version I read in Alvibest. <>Return home, Oh men of Kalinga! And remember what I have to say A man’s world is in a woman’s armsAt birth, in glory and in morbid sway.<>Loved the version that you took the trouble of sharing. <>And as I watch her leave With a smile, to her man’s arm I pray she’d not find due joy And yearn for my love’s warm<>Thanks 🙂

  3. Hi! Eroteme!The images are so apt for the poems…loved what you said in the end“The first one is a raw nugget of gold panned from the filthiest waterways…”Have a great day!(*_*) UmaAnd before i forget it is unbelievable that you are forgetful !

  4. Dear B,Frankly, I hadn’t noticed it at all before you stated it. You are right! The 1st does appear to precede the 2nd (isn’t that always the case? 😉 and does appear like a “his version” versus “her version”… Thanks for that insight. 🙂Dear M,Glad you liked them.Dear Anon-U,I am not forgetful (actually far from it) but writing changes a lot in me… 🙂 Hope you have a great day too.

  5. # The rhythm in most of the stanzas in the first version is faulty, but then it is a first draft, so forgiven, but again, it is published here, in your flawless BLOG, so not so easily forgotten 🙂# But the honey of love and the fire of sincere passion there (in the first poem) are undeniable. Whereas the second version is all about hurt pride and highly satisfying revenge, the first is love and longing personified, when staking claim on the whole person of the beloved is the only urgent issue in the lover’s mind -why wouldn’t that be sweeter than the words of a woman spurned and wronged, whose burning anger finally receives solace in showing the door to supplicators from her unfair lover?#This post is truly a window to the mystery and mystic that is behind Eroteme as a writer. Captivating and unexpected – your forgetfulness and the way the final drafts of poetry or conference material are mutations (albeit good mutations)bearing little or no resemblance to the original attempts.

  6. Dear P,I thoroughly enjoy your comments. 🙂 Yes, there is a rawness in the 1st one which makes things … interesting? Mystery/mystic!!? 😀 I think I will savour it for a while before denying it… Aah. Thanks. There is nothing mystical about the writing. It is just… well, writing.

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