Tuesday, Sep 26, 2023

Poems: Of Angry Pride, Rebirth And Hope 

Weekend Reads

Poems: Of Angry Pride, Rebirth And Hope 

Draupadi is one of Indian mythology’s strongest female characters. Has the disrobing shame maimed forever a spotless name? Must a new beginning encircle the realm of sorrow and serenity? How long is the wait for divine blessing too long? 

'Manna from the skies'
'Manna from the skies' Shutterstock


Majestic pride enhanced 
The beauty in her face
Strength lay in her tresses
By which she swore revenge.

Victim of a Lear pride 
The downfall was too heavy 
Even for one such as her.

For Draupadi was too modern 
To connive her husband’s act 
Of putting her on stake
Too strong to pardon
The humiliation of the Court Disrobing.

The Kauravas’ raucous laughter 
Broke the passive silence of the Elders
Pitamaha hung his head in shame
Yudhishthira, Partha, strongman Bheema
Looked on helplessly…later
Thanked the Saviour Krishna.

Disgraced, furious, half-ashamed
Panchali cried Vendetta. 

And so the tale continued
The war, death and the doctrine of Karma.

A scene from Mahabharata depicting humiliation of Draupadi | Credit: Getty
A scene from Mahabharata depicting the humiliation of Draupadi | Credit: Getty

A happy end.
But too late for Draupadi.
For the scars of shame had maimed
Forever a spotless name
History had recorded with relish
That one act of molestation.

Panchali was censured 
For she had dared to defy
Manifest the fiery strength
Of a woman wronged.

Once…she had aspired for the best
For she was incomparable
A Benazir par excellence.

A dancer’s delight
Historian’s favourite
Mythology’s black sheep

Poetry preserves her charisma 
Celebrates her angry pride
Gives her a new dimension.

Beautiful, brave and enigmatic
A force to always remember
But never eulogize
For she must forever remain tried.

To touch the sky 
With the torch of sunshine and rain 
Was I born on earth again. 

To sail the seven seas of mortality
Into the ocean of immortality
To rise from the ashes of my forefathers 
Into the realm of sorrow and serenity 
Was I born again.

A scene from Mahabharata depicting humiliation of Draupadi | Credit: Getty
Soul-searching | Credit: Shutterstock

To give shape to buried desires
And life to evanescent hopes
Fruition to unfulfilled dreams
And completion of unmet goals 
Was I born again. 

And am reborn now 
Free to traverse the universe
In yet another form 

Bound by the rules of this earth 
Missing those seamless shores
That gave me freedom for a blessed while
Alongside souls that came to rest 
A Sabbatical from an earthly quest 

Now...all born again. 

Manna From The Skies 

And in the end
A ray of hope
A semblance of calm 
A vestige of peace
Nerve, fortitude and succor

Along the arduous path to a Mecca
Not yours, not mine
But one universal shrine
Lying under an open, seamless sky

I walk alone…I walk with you 

Palm turned upwards, fists opening up 
Smiling, a prayer on my lips
I wait for my spirit to lift
My heart to sing in bliss
My mind forever stilled

I wait
For Your countless blessings
I wait 
With love and faith 
I wait 
But not for long.

For Manna from the Skies. 

(Sanjula Sharma is a journalist-writer based in Delhi, who has written six books of fiction and poetry. She is also the founder of ‘Happy Minds’, a creative platform that conducts writing workshops for children.)


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