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A Tribute To Ahilya Bai Holkar
(February/'47 / Connecticut, USA)

A Tribute To Ahilya Bai Holkar

Great is my country India
where Ahilya is born
never heard of a woman so inspiring
never read about a woman so great
it is for everybody to learn
bravery, confidence and skills of administration
selfless work with divine splendour
facts and figures tell the truth
married at the age of eight
widow at twentyone
self-immolation(sati) prevented by father-in-law
father-in-law expired twelve years after
few months later her only son died
nobody can just think of her tragedy
during those days
when society dominated by men
She became Queen of Malwa in 1767
emotional setbacks overpowered by 'Karma Yoga'
the kingdom belongs to Lord Shiva, she declared
'I am just a role-player'
a perfect blend of
rationality and spirituality
what a greatness in her thoughts!
she defeated her enemies with iron hand
even the British scared of her
lawlessness nipped in the bud
welfare of people, her prime aim
she established capital city at Maheshwar
named after Lord Shiva
on the bank of river Narmada
two hours drive from Indore
trade and commerce flourished
she conducted daily meet of people
listened to their grievances:
her patronage of literature
music, sculpture, art and crafts
the bounty of agriculture
textile industry at its peak
the 'maheshwari' brand of sarees
exist today also
her generous donations for temples
out of her personal earnings
stand out as a pious example
from Dwaraka to Puri
from Kashi to Rameswaram
she renovated many temples
many a bathing ghats established
but ensured communal harmony
her thirty years of golden rule
a model for governance world wide
people worshipped her as 'devi'
was she not a deity?
the greatest setback came
when her daughter jumped into
the funeral pyre 'sati'
when her son-in-law was killed
but she was unable to stop this
she left forever at the age of seventy
with her demise
India lost an angel
what was her driving force?
surrendering everything to God
working without expectation
thinking of welfare of people
the waves of river Narmada
providing her with the silent energy
and all her decisions
perhaps dictated by Lord Shiva...
"Ahilya" shall remain immortal
as an inspiring icon for mankind.

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