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!! 🙂
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!! 😀
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 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.” 🙂