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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Luminous till drowning

I was I was
What a dreamer I was
Below the banyan tree
chasing your plaits I was
Across the noisy brook
chanting your name I was
Engrossed in your thoughts
pinining without a pause
Floating diya of faith
luminous till drowning I was. 10

I was I was
How enchanted I was
Inventing on your bodyscape
Kashmir Manali I was
In verses of Kalidasa Neruda
the poet in love I was
Determined to make you mine
striving without a pause
Floating diya of faith
luminous till drowning I was. 20

I was I was
Why a fool I was
Ignored my receding hairline
in wait a decade I was
Gobbled envy with vodka lime
Devdas sans Chandramukhi I was
Oblivious to your deceit
Mirza without a pause
Floating diya of faith
luminous till drowning I was. 30

May 03, 2006
1:30 pm

FOOTNOTES:

line 9: diya is an earthen lamp, with cotton wick that burns in oil.
line 10: diya is released into river on some holy nights in India, and floats away with a beautiful, flickering flame till it vanishes off your sight.
line 14: Kashmir and Manali are two valleys in Himalayas. A sixteen century poet remarked about Kashmir, "If there is heaven on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here."
line 15: Kalidasa was a great Sanskrit poet and writer, whose quality and quantity of brilliant works is matched maybe only by Shakespeare.
line 26: Devdas loved Paro, but wasn't able to stand against his father's whim and couldn't marry her. He, then, drank himself to death, while dancer Chandramukhi took him in and nursed him with her own unrequited love. A Sarat Chandra classic written in Bengali, made into two well known Bollywood movies.
line 28: Sahiba Mirza is a folk love story from Punjab. When Mirza eloped with Sahiba, he stopped on the way to take a nap. They were being pursued by Sahiba's five brothers. While Mirza slept, Sahiba's love for her brothers prompted her to break all Mirza's arrows, and hence when he was attacked, he was unarmed and heartbroken, and died fighting. Overcome by grief, Sahiba killed herself.

4 comments:

Neeta said...

wow....that had to be one of the most passionate, inventive, and cultural pieces of poetry that i've ever read...and i love how you incorporated the significance of the diya as well as the great lovers Mirza and Devdas...just wow lol...that like made my day :)

Vivek said...

Comments from Dud Sea Scrawls:

“Oblivious to your
By El enigma on Thu, 2006-05-04 01:31

Oblivious to your deceit
Mirza without a pause…

hmmm…..not fair, Vivek….Sahiban did not ‘deceive’ Mirza! Smiling

it’s a very nice piece by Amrita Pritam, ano….I like her writings…they are very bold and yet so wrapped up in emotions….sad that she died last year…

enig
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coincidence!
By ano on Wed, 2006-05-03 20:34

just today i was reading this, and was surprised to see the reference here also. talk about coincidences!!
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Mirza Sahiba
new
By Vivek on Thu, 2006-05-04 05:47

Some say she did the right thing as she saved her brother from certain death, and hence saved five families. But Enig, you should know, that ever since Mirza, there was no legendary lover in Punjab, for as the link given by ANO also says, the betrayal of Sahiba was never forgiven.

She killed herself in grief, no doubt, and her love for brothers caused her to make such a choice, but it is evident that had she not thrown away his arrows, he would not have died that day.

Women are complex creatures and quite capable of making extraordinary choices. Thats why sometimes am forced to write poems like Trust a woman:)
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Vivek said...

From Desicritics.org

#1
temporal
URL
May 4, 2006
10:35 AM

vivek:

achchi hay:)

before the perennial lover is plucked (hitched, hijacked, tied) his boat visits many a port

the floating diya does have a lot in common with the lover...flickering, floating (from pier to pier... port to port)...in an act of cosmic randomness...

but destiny grabs him ... and locks him in a permanent (more or less) dock...till dust or ash is factored in

#2
Vivek Sharma
URL
May 4, 2006
01:36 PM

Temporal:) Thats nicely summarizes the guiding idea of the poem.
Thanks

#3
temporal
URL
May 4, 2006
01:52 PM

digression:


wonder if the poem would work better if the foot notes are eliminated and replaced with interactive links?

it may mean more googling perhaps for you but may be more helpful for the reader?

#4
Vivek Sharma
URL
May 4, 2006
04:26 PM

Some links here:
Mirza Sahiba
http://www.littlemag.com/belonging/amrita.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirza_Sahiba

Devdas
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devdas

People can always go and find the terms on wiki or google.

Temporal: Writing footnotes, I found out recently, is considered as important as the poem itself, and my final aim being to become a published poet, I am just learning the various aspects of the craft. I agree links are useful for online presentation, but I will like my writing to be self sufficient in information.

#5
temporal
URL
May 4, 2006
05:04 PM

#5
temporal
URL
May 4, 2006
05:04 PM

Atrakasya said...

Ah...I liked this one, though I normally don't like poems