Poetry

Radheya

When I close my eyes;

There is only one person

Who appears before me.

A sublime goddess

Whom I never saw;

But was born

From my creativity.

Her round eyes;

Brimming with tears they were;

Every time she gazed at me.

For she was my mother;

The lady who abandoned me.

On a pedestal I placed her;

Worshipping her; I forgave;

Believing her to be out of options;

As she let go of me.

Beautiful she was;

With the kindest of smiles;

She pulled me closed and embraced.

Falling to my knees, I cherished her tears

As they descended upon me.

All I could do;

Was admire her;

With the eyes of a small child;

Bathed in the cascade of love.

“Oh, how hallowed I have been!”

Thought I, blissful and fortunate.

But alas, that was never to be.

For she was but a figment of my imagination.

Just a pipe dream.

Was she the daughter of a king;

A princess, high-born?

Is she still alive;

Desperately searching for me?

Never bestowed with the well-earned praise;

That I was due;

In the wake of that which is valued;

As something as trifling as ancestry;

The adoration of my deified mother

Was my only solace and retreat.

Is it so wrong to dream;

That my heart was to be ripped cruelly asunder

By those bearing a selfish and black desire?

O Madhusudan, why tear apart my image;

Merely to satisfy your aim?

O Queen Dowager Kunti, why let the pedestal crumble;

Simply to ensure your ambition?

O Grandsire Bheeshma, why destroy my illusion;

Purely to give me an earful?

Was it fun;

Was it enjoyable;

To deface the goddess?

To ruin my fantasy?

To ravage my hallucination?

To devastate this wishful thinking of mine?

O World, O Society, O Destiny;

How amusing it must have been;

To prey on me when I was so very weak;

Over and over and over again!

The woman who birthed this wretched one;

Is more beautiful than the deity;

She who occupied the canvas of my reverie.

But warm her eyes are not;

For artful she is.

Callous and stony;

My frigid quintessence she failed to thaw.

As a steely soul clashed with an unyielding psyche;

Won the more resolute of the two;

And war was averted not;

Spurting blood like a fountain.

Oh, but how laughably silly have I been!

That exalted goddess

Was none but Radha;

My loving surrogate mother;

She who hesitated not

To shower mercy and affection

On a helpless bairn;

Drifting along a creek;

Defenceless and feeble.

Radheya I am;

Radheya I shall be;

For I reject the denomination of Kaunteya;

The name that was discarded;

Along with me.

 

                                                                ~ Dibyasree Nandy

                                                                     Kolkata, India

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