Monday, November 12, 2012


(Painting by Shibu Natesan- All images are for illustration purpose only)

‘It’s you, oh Lord,” pouting her lips

In disparage and contempt

Says Ahalya to an astonished God

Who was out there in his own exile.

‘It was not you whom I waited

All these years for the redeeming touch.

Why couldn’t he come, the one

With his mighty word and sword?

Benevolent as he is always asks the Lord

Why the redemption of stone did not amuse her;

The deliverance, a thing to cherish and nourish?

He probes with his bow like eye brows.

Thus speaks Ahalya her story

Of Eternal love and desire that had appeared

As carnal pleasures and lusty sin

In the eyes of those who did not care a bit.

The forest was glorious

In the spring’s caress

Blushing like a bride

The trees brought forth

Flowers on their branches.

Evening, filled with the

Songs of birds and spirits,

A mild sun painting sky with

Differing hues of orange and red

Filled unfulfilled desires in her.

The great sage had gone to the ghat

To do his evening ablutions and prayers

As a good wife it was her duty to stay

Within the hut and recited mantras

For the benefit of the worlds and unsure gods.

Within the closed eyes and quivering lips

Praises of gods and the eternal spirit

She saw the paths of serenity

And in the midst she saw under the

Canopy of desire, her man standing and waiting.


(Painting by Shibu Natesan)

He is always there, thought she

Shaking off her fears and doubts

And the duties of a sage’s wife

Cannot wander like a fox in the bushes,

She knew that for sure but how could

She help herself when love defeated

All proprieties of a devoted wife?

She has been pushing his form away

From her mind and soul for long

Failing day in and out, it was just duty

That took her all along with the one

Who had vaulted her life in sagacious virtues.

Each time he appeared as if from nowhere;

She knew he came through clouds

Through the eyes of peacock feathers

In the wind that blew from the hills

By the song that river sang to her

Behind the bowers and at the top of the trees

From the tip of a dream that stayed

He came each time to her

With passion filled eyes and an enigmatic smile.

Were those intrigues enough

Those bodily pulls strong

To capture a woman who had spent

Eons with a sage who breached no trust

But never loved the way the one could have loved?

She asked herself several times.

Scriptures that she recited

Reiterated wifely duties,

Day in and day out she should be the faithful

Following like a shadow of her husband

In words, deeds and the killing of desires.


(Painting by Shibu Natesan)

She had slept on the cold floor

She had sat in the middle of five fires

She had lied on the thorny bed

She had spent days without food

She had repeated the words

That her husband told her

She had sounded his thoughts

To the trees, streams and unsuspecting fauns.

Not even once the man asked

Whether she wanted anything

More than the prayers and wisdom.

He left her all alone for days end

When he went to give light

To the kings who were waging

Hopeless wars for women and gold.

She remained true and faithful

And each time the desirable one appeared

She averted her eyes to the vast lands of

Dried off dreams lay within her mind.


(Painting by A.Ramachandran)

In the form of the sage he came on that day,

Say the lore and histories written

And sung by those who want it to be,

So that they could protect the fame of a sage

Who was mired in his anger and impotency.

He had not come in the form my husband,

Weak, angry and complaining for

Gods abandoning him always but

Adamant in pleasing them by his

Eternal penances and recitals.

He had come in his own form,

So beautiful, alluring and desirable

Stood he there at the door step

Without violating even an inch

That the domestic sanctity had drawn.

He was so gorgeous to look at

And his eyes held the pain of abandoning.

His lips complained and uttered the loving

Words against me for keeping him long.

I was dumbstruck and numb

Could not say that I was duty bound

If I loved him back the heavens would break

And the world would fall apart in war and pestilence.

They say if a sage’s woman desires a man

Whom she loves and craves for union

The world would stop and kingdoms would fall,

On this lie they had made empires

And made special jails for women in gold and silver

They still remain like caged birds

That have forgotten the songs of love.


(Painting by A.Ramachandran)

He held my hands and thousand

Forests bloomed at once

Eagles flew all over the sky

Spreading their shadows below

As if they were the blessing hands of gods

And all those women suffered for their vows.

Along the spring we walked

In silence but hand in hand

I knew the throbbing of his veins

And the blood that carried his pains.

We looked at the sky that I had been seeing

For ages with an angry sage

But it looked so different and beautiful

I thought it was a new sky.

We walked in the unknown forest paths

Laden with flowers, grass and moss

Animals looked at us in wonder

Some of them started playing yonder.

Butterflies followed us everywhere

While we shared our stories there.

We did not indulge in carnal pleasures.

But he, like a peacock of thousand eyes

Looked at me as if I were the first woman

Who he was looking at for the first time.

He looked at me as if I was first time being looked at

And I felt so happy.

His touch sent me to the heavens that had not been

Mentioned in the scriptures that I was reading all around.

He took me to the visions that no god had promised

He took me to the beauties that no poet had written.

When he kissed me for the first time

I shivered like a flame under a breeze

When he held me close to his chests

I became a wild fire under a storm.

Words that had never existed or I thought so

Rolled out of my tongue that was touching his

Scriptures and sagacious words disappeared

As if they were ghosts shying away while day break.


(Painting by A.Ramachandran)

We were like two souls walking along

A river of dreams and desires

We were like two story tellers telling

Stories that remained untold for long.

We were like two eagles in the sky

Scaling heights and playing our might.

We became two children caught by

An innocent Game that they had just discovered.

We sang songs that never existed

And on my nape he exhaled a tune of love.

Along my back his fingers flew

Writing a pact that never broke.

Writhing in happiness like a swan

That about to take off from its watery abode,

I held onto him as if he was the air that I breathed.

Time I did not know existed, space

Was nothing but him who filled all.

Each pore in me thrived in ecstasy

And it was not just for an evening’s

Pleasure, but a pact eternal sealed by lips.

Oh Lord, you may call it carnal pleasure

Unbridled desires of a wanton woman

History would worship me for my patience

That made me to wait for your touch, they say.

Call it anything, desire or bodily pleasures

Love or pact or anything that you like.

But it was my deed conscious and aware

I knew that I was willing to surrender.

It was not his cunning tactics

It was not his arrogant attitude

It was not his salacious words

It was not his darting eyes

That sent more than one message at a time

It was my love and my longing

And my conscious decision to be with him

That led me to his arms and I am so happy

That I did though I paid for it being a stone.


(Painting by A.Ramachandran)

He came in and he saw us

I don’t remember it was a bad scene

He might not have even imagined

That his sagacious wife could be

So abandoned and happy in the

Hands of a man who shone like Indra.

He became aware of his shortcomings

In that moment of confrontation

People say ‘we were caught in a

Compromised position, what a fun’.

We were not in a compromising position

But I had taken a decision on my life

It was my deed and my word and I was

Fully aware of the love that I made.

The confrontation for him was

Like the striking of vajra, that he could not stand.

He looked at my beloved

With his raging eyes.

I could see his impotent rage

Not for his wife went loose

But for he could not dam that river

That he did not know flowed in her.

He thundered like a wounded animal

Threw curses at my beloved, who

Stood almost unchallenged and daring.

I will take her along with me

For I will adore her as my wife

I will never come to your vicinity

And will never hurt your sanity.

He was polite, but not desperate,

For a moment I thought that

Two men were making a bargain on me.

I hated them both at once but then recovered

As I could not hate my man, my love

Who then was standing the rage of a sage.

“Be a sahasra yoni”, a man of thousand vaginas

Cursed my legal husband of sagacity

And my man, my beloved and my only love

Turned into a man with yonis all over his body.

They say he was filled with shame,

But I would say he should have been filled with pride

For it was my yoni imprinted on him

As a seal of love and my devotion for him.

Why should he be shameful?

How could that piece of my body

Which is craved by each man on the earth

And fight wars to possess it,

Violate it whenever they get a chance

Burn it ruthlessly for dowry

Lech at it at dreams and literature,

Be a shameful one; shouldn’t it be a thing of pride

Worn by a man who won it by labour.

But for the world, something of power

Of a woman in love is a dangerous thing.

One should curse someone with the

Most fearful thing so that they could

Secretly enjoy it and put the other in shame.

What a shame, oh Lord.

But what a beautiful day it was, oh Lord.

My man went into exile

I don’t have a clue where he has gone.

Perhaps, in future the stories and histories

Would say that he was rescued by other gods.

Aren’t they too males, Oh Lord, like you

That they want their man back and manhood restored

For the peace and permanency of the world, Oh Lord.

But I heard the sage cursing me:

“Be a stone, an unfeeling rock

Lie their abandoned like a bad memory

And wait for your deliverance

When in Tetra Yuga, the Lord of Lords

Come in your way, still not knowing his destiny.”

And with a smile I took the curse.

I grew into a stone and I remember

The last thing I saw then was

The beautiful face of my man, my beloved

With a reassuring smile in his eyes;

My eyes turned into two pieces of granite. 


(Take me Where I Belong- a painting by Shibu Natesan)

Is it like that, oh Lord, in your Land

You turn your women into stone

If they exercise their free will

And stand up for their rights?

Asks Ahalya, her eyes still wandering for her beloved.

The Lord, shocked by the severe utterance

Of the woman who had just come out of the stone

Looked at her with a sense of reverence.

In a flash, history came before his mind

And he knew that it was Ahalya and

Releasing her from the spell of curse

Was his duty which he now performed.

Gods know what they should say

When they redeem the cursed ones

From their dormancy and bring them into life

But here he remained silent

Not knowing what to tell this woman

Who had spent a stone’s life

Just for a glimpse of her lover.

“Curse me back to stone, oh Lord,” says she

For she wants to be with her man

Or she prefers a granite life to the one

She has just got as a boon.

Bewildered Lord looks around,

Lakshman averts his eyes,

Sages with them hang their head in shame

For now their tribe is brought to trial.

Trees look at Ahalya in anticipation

Birds stop chirping,

Grass hangs from the mouth of deer

A drop of tear stays frozen at her right eye.

Then she looks around, calls out his name

With his name echoing from the innards of forest

She walks into it, into the darkness of the unknown

A furrow appears deep down there

Drenched in light and fragrance.

Ahalya walks into it and into a new world.

And today she is everywhere

In every household, every library

Every street, every office, every studio

Every work place and make up rooms

Disparaging the touches of a benevolent lord

A sagacious husband who leaves her dry

She is eternally looking for a world

That does not turn her into a stone 

Exercising her free will and desire. 

No comments: