Poem of the day

`Leave this river full of lotuses, child
You might wake up our master fast asleep.
He will definitely not spare you if he wakes
Moreover, the sin of murdering a mere child will be on our heads!
Leave this river full of lotuses, child
You might wake up our master fast asleep!

Tell me, boy, have you lost your way, or has some foe led you astray?
You seem to have run out of your time, dear child
Or else, why would you ever think of coming here?
Leave this river full of lotuses, child
You might wake up our master fast asleep! '

`No I haven't lost my way and no foe can lead me astray,
O consorts of Cobra, back there in Mathura
I just happened to lose your man's head in a friendly bet! '
`Leave this river full of lotuses, child
You might wake up our master fast asleep! '

`You are so cute, so pretty, and irresistible!
Tell us how many children your mother has
So that you are unwanted?
Leave this river full of lotuses, child
You might wake up our master fast asleep!

` I am Natwar, the younger of the two brothers
Go and wake up that snake of yours
I am Krishna- the dark one! '
`Leave this river full of lotuses, child
You might wake up our master fast asleep! '

` Come, come, we will give you garland worth lakhs
We will give you a necklace made of pure gold
Without letting our master know!
Leave this river full of lotuses, child
You might wake up our master fast asleep! '

`What am I to do with that garland of yours?
Pray what is the use of that necklace to me?
And why should you pilfer in your own house, O serpents? '
`Leave this river full of lotuses, child
You might wake up our master fast asleep! '

Distraught they shook up the sleeping master by feet.
They wrenched him by his whiskers in great distress,
`O wake up Master', they said, `there is a child at our door! '
`Leave this river full of lotuses, child
You might wake up our master fast asleep! '

The two powerful ones were locked in a mortal combat,
In no times Krishna masteredthe colossal cobra,
His thousand hoods hissing furiously
Like the thundering lunar constellation in monsoon!
`Leave this river full of lotuses, child
You might wake up our master fast asleep! '

`He will torture our cobra! ' the wives lamented,
`He will take him to Mathura and behead him!
O forgive our husband', they pleaded,
`We ignorant sinners could not recognize you!
`We could not fathom you O Lord! '
`Leave this river full of lotuses, child
You might wake up our master fast asleep! '

They offered pearls in devotion and somehow managed to rescue
Their seized husband from Narsaiyya's Lord!
`Leave this river full of lotuses, child
You might wake up our master fast asleep! '

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Modern poem of the day

Migrations are always difficult:
ask any drought,
any plague;
ask the year 1947.
Ask the chronicles themselves:
if there had been no migrations
would there have been enough
history to munch on?

Going back in time is also tough.
Ask anyone back-trekking to Sargodha
or Jhelum or Mianwali and they'll tell you.
New faces among old brick;
politeness, sentiment,
dripping from the lips of strangers.
This is still your house, Sir.

And if you meditate on time
that is no longer time -
(the past is frozen, it is stone,
that which doesn't move
and pulsate is not time) -
if you meditate on that scrap of time,
the mood turns pensive
like the monsoons
gathering in the skies
but not breaking.

Mother used to ask, don't you remember my mother?
You'd be in the kitchen all the time
and run with the fries she ladled out,
still sizzling on the plate.
Don't you remember her at all?
Mother's fallen face
would fall further
at my impassivity.
Now my dreams ask me
If I remember my mother
And I am not sure how I'll handle that.
Migrating across years is also difficult.

[From: The Map-maker]

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