by Gopikrishnan Kottoor
I still remember the attic of the Gods.
I had to climb the wooden stairs up
to where a step broke and fell away,
bringing down grandmother to the bottom-floor,
dead. Careful not to slip,
the climb led to a childhood's serendip
dream, awake. The coloured window glass
intern'd with playing card aces brought the sun in
like a drop of blood upon pain's tranquilized stain.
In the silence, low bats that reminded of dry leaves
set up for a memorial fire,
flew in ocean rhythm, in thousands,
not one touching the other,
their eyes battled with counts of the night dead.
Underneath them, lay sand. The sand of a century,
with bat droppings that stuck like alphabets of the dark.
From the roof, sand kept falling,
as from a dune that rose to fall
with OM chant among the Vedas.
Nothing could stop that motion,
not even a funeral pyre.
And I glided beneath,
from under the fanning wings,
graceful as peace beneath an earthquake,
reaching my dustily draped poult-de-soie,
with the fair long haired one,
his celestial bow hung on his broken shoulder,
quiver of sacred arrows,
and chaste wife endearingly fused upon his breast,
about to set out to Chitrakoot.*
Now it was time to wipe their tears,
and I, in hot bat weather under the sand rain,
cradled my god, like one new born upon my lap,
who would set out on the morrow
for fourteen years of exile
to keep his dying father's word,
helping him find his broken arm.
*The forests of Chitrakoot, Uttar Pradesh, India, is famous for its significant role in the exile of the Hindu God Sri Rama, the avatar of Sri Krishna.
Last updated April 02, 2012