Friday, January 06, 2006

At Kalachakra

hands folded in prayer,
twelve in the room.
lit by the cold january sun,
wait in silence.

should i breathe?
i wonder.
what if i exhaled
and wasted the moment,
should i breathe?

should i blink?
what if i should miss
the eternity of sharing
the same space as him?
dare i blink?

what if he should touch me?
a tap on the shoulder,
or a handshake even.
how would i react?
and would it be right?

there were far more deserving
of his healing touch,
waiting in the sun outside.
would he understand my need
to jostle for a favored place
in the line of believers?

will i hear
each word he says
or will i hear
and still miss
anything that he says?

i hear the swish
of yellow robes.
he is frailer than his pictures.
his wristwatch hangs loose
on his bony hand.
nothing weak
about his words though.

brightest eyes i have seen,
now observe my tearful ones,
he has seen many like mine.

before the hum of prayers
from the outside,
deafens the few
caught in his magical gaze inside,
he stands hugging distance
i dare not follow the impulse.

bite my lip,
and extend my hand
as my fist uncurls,
his eyes twinkle.
his laughter sounds loud,
surprising the solemn room.
he pockets the gift,
and steps out into the sunlight.

i wonder about the laughter,
that's when i see Him.
arms folded, grin in place,
the Blue One has been watching.
you’ve found me, he laughs,
why then, are you greedy?
i pretend not to understand

you stop laughing at me,
i wiggle my finger at him.
i still need words
to comfort me.
i switch to fm in defiance.

Avalokiteshwara’s words
crackle salve into my ears.
besides, he looks like you
my Blue One.
and he likes chocolate
you saw him take it, didn’t you?


david raphael israel said...

Lovely, Manisha--

a likeable surprise-twist along the bhakti-poetry trail; as well as an engaging 1st-person account of an encounter w/ a notable figure of our time.

Rajendra Pradhan said...


this will perhaps be known to posterity as "the blue period" in your poetry :)

Impressed no doubt. I was thinking of writing some "abhanga" in English. Must give it a try now.


Romel Dias said...

Hi...smashing...i've loved the rural earthy feel that Kolatkar infuses in his poems on the interiors of the country...his urban poems though always leave the reader feeling his hurt and confused in shades of someone like me...(essentially a Mumbaiite n completely urban...)you seem to be sailing in the same boat...its just that you really have a way with words...n i don't!!!

Lots of love, respect and gratitude from your new fan!

suniti said...

Lovely !! But I keep saying that- don't I !!! The images come thru so clearly. The twinkle in the eyes, the smile, the robes..
One of your best I think :)