..

Rama Rajya(Social Justice)
Can the country
be changed through rallies
or solgans?
Woman on house arrest.

His Dusshashan of
the twenty first century
is trying to disrobe you
in the electronic court of the Kurus.
You are already disrobed.
You are being paraded
on the fashion ramp
with your shoulders
laden with the merchandise
of the tycoons from across the seas.
His majesty has
made repeated declarations
that the globalized
consumerist God
be worshipped,
and you be empowered.

Whether you are strong
or weak,
you yourself
know not.
For self-realization
you must see yourself
in the mirror
as mother, sister,
or wife.
And then,
to assume sakti,
ascend the throne.
Become Devi.
Become the Mother of the Universe.

All the ideologies
of the world are shut up
in such paper bags.

Can the nation be
changed through high platforms,
or lengthy speeches?

Let the those suffering
get their nourishment,
and the hungry stomachs
a few morsels of food.
That much will suffice.

May India become an ocean of might
May she sparkle gracefully in the universe

I've solemnly vowed to renounce my life
for the service of the humanity
My life exists only for the cause of my country
Hark, I am happily prepared to die for this cause

I'll set my nation to glorious heights
I wil

 

l dedicate all to my nation
I will annihilate this dense darkness
Come, brothers, come to help me in this cause

Joining hands, together,
uniting heart with heart,
harping on the string of unity,
Come, come to perform this great deed

Let us hold the divine pennants in our hands
Let us sing songs of dear India
Let us display valour in the universe
May Mother India rise to the glory of her own rank

Arise, let us do our best
Let us accomplish the divine valour
Or else, futile is this life
May the sheeny sun of fortune glow for ever

India, our mother, will become great
She will look splendid with the divine glory
She will give peace to the world
May that golden day arrive

Sane Guruji

I stand on a seashore looking out
erasing the glow of early dusk.
Dark droves of autumn clouds roll in to fill
the sky. Like fierce water-snakes in a rage
dirt-hued tides rush to bite the shore, and, like
venom spat out, rises white foam. As cities, lakes
and gardens fill mirages, and past lives,-
a yogic trance, as terrors emanate
from a fevered brain a startling sight is
born out of this sky and these turbulent waves.

I see the forests, the leopards within,
the yellow and black heads of crocodiles
that float in pools, the hippopotami
that seem like mobile rocks in their muddy
abode, the antelope with gnarled antlers,
the long-legged giraffe, the green meadows
where the Masais' cattle graze, the Masais who
pull the lion by the tail to behead
it with their swords, the seven-foot tall Thusis
javelin throw, the fierce skirmish when spears shatter
in pieces by the speed of the throw before
they meet their prey. Like the incessant thump
of a primitive drum, the ancient routine of forests
throbs still, quite unchanged.
There the earth has no boundaries, the ocean has no shores;
the gods still roam over the earth; there the time is not
encased in a small container and tied on the wrist.

The wave recedes.
In the rocky Sahara in dew-drenched
Ruvansori on the grassy plains
where zebras move, from Morocco to Cape
of Good Hope, in twenty million minds, like
streaks of lightning in a dark sky, a fire
smoulders. Coal, copper, iron, gold, diamond,
platinum, uranium, rice, wheat, cocoa, sisal:
what wealth does not Africa possess. Men there, however, are
slaves, Zulus and pygmies alike; their bosses
the white ones who came from other lands, five
million of them. Yes, ignorant are the natives
victims of a tsetse slumber and of yaws
and leprosy tliat chew up their lips or
nose to rot them, poor ones who bear within
their vitals lethal worms, whom hunger has
turned so cadaverous. Men who only eat
a full meal in their dreams.

But they are awake now. Naguib's footprints have
fallen on the sandy banks of Nile, on Gold Coast
Nkrumah makes history. In Kenya
a flaming spear is shut in by prison-walls
and yet it yields its warmth to the people
all day long.

In the wake of Livingstone,
the pathfinder, the white men
brought their alphabet to preach about Christ's
mercy, but it helped these men to know about equality and freedom; about
the wars fought to earn these and of the great
triumphs of science over unfair providence.
One fourth of a world shadowed by haughty Malan
nurtured a bitterness, yearned for vengeance.
Africa, t

 

his monumental beast, Africa, bellows, dipping
its face. The roar echoes in Sahara,
In each hamlet each town and each sea shore.
In one of Nairobi's bars, a white guard keeps
awake, armed with a rifle while
a double-edged Simi sword, skins the dark
night outside. Another white man,
a Belgian in Congo, enters his
room and trembles in anticipation of a black foe under his bed.
To board a bus, to join a school,
to walk along a street, to earn a wage
for work done, to build a home, to sow in fields,
to immortalize one's soul in a mate's body united by love,
men fight on; their united strength
slowly fills the land.
To keep off the blacks,
the whites built walls around themselves
with guns and laws. What now? Those who did
imprison are in prison now, the freed
ones yell aloud in joy, their fists unclenched.

Africa, awake, mother-earth, your own
children shall embrace the light, and along
the equator prosperity shall reign.
United we shall be, though different
in be

 

liefs and life-style, like a song sung
together our effort shall make life bloom.
Where man is manacled, my arms ache. Where
there is flogging the whip falls on my back.
Where man struggles to rise, there I shall be. Africa, today
you are my land, in your grief I weep.

The beach, the forest and the land fade now.
The eye can no longer see far. The tides
rise and recede but the heart is strong and
serene. When a man strives to fight injustice,
I am the unvanquished, my life becomes
meaningful, for I know that I am he.

N.V. Krishna Warrior (1916 - 1989)

After a Murder
When like one distracted
I scoured the ends of the dead city
harrying someone
no tell-tale blood stared me in the eye
even after such murder
only fear, doubt and misgivings
What may crop up, what wouldn't.

In the park a few corpses talked
of bygone days.
of the birth of civilisation,
of death
the sky was singed
by their yellow exaltations

There was no song anywhere
no birds chirped at dawn and dusk
the vicious water had driven the people
to the tops of dykes
thinking thoughts green as trees
they talked of new homes


of another birth after birth
one by one we picked
the bits and bones of the past
the debris of dead mistakes

Some door somewhere may open
may be we will find a ladder
to lead us to the source
of the stream inside
even on our impugned thoughts will sprout
new blades and saplings.

Rabindra Sarkar

Might Ahead of the Mind
You split the atom and gained an
insight into its potential
we acknowledge and admire your studies;
Having succeeded in harnessing the earth's resources.
you have taken up expeditions to explore the space.
You have transcended spatial barriers:
We bow before your amazing achievements.


You have enhanced the power of the eyes to see
and ears to hear.
You have transformed the world into a
federation of countries and
a small habitat of races.


You have overcome nature's boundaries:
For us today ,mountains are no barriers
and the oceans are no blocks;
Rivers and forests are no longer a fortress.
The power of knowledge is near supreme.
We have evolved and advanced ;
Yesterday we moved from
house to house.
Today we move from country to country.

Having broken the barriers of nature,
we have erected wall of our own;
Pettiness of mind , violence in every land,
Undeclared wars--- a daily event;
Every habitat a den of guns and bombs,
Hearts brimming with hatred and dislike:
Army of refugees all over the globe
in search of an asylum;
The sufferings of the second class citizens---
The minorities in their own motherland,

The undignified pettiness of the majority groups;
The sight of a few enjoying
unlimited facilities and pleasures on one side and
an increasing crowd with emptiness around,
burning hunger within and poverty as unfailing companion;
Life to them a great ordeal,endless struggle
even for liquid gruel and leafed roof.
The cruel fact of numerous countries
accepting all these as routine and normal---
These agonies grow; the sobs and wailing
of the downtrodden grow louder and louder!

Are wonders of science for the advanced nations
a matter of entertaining fireworks in space,
ignoring the plight of the masses and the
burdens of the world?
Science that was seen as a boon,
a servant to serve humanity and
a powerful companion in need:
has that become a fiction and a dream?

Have we in our progress, developed our might
ahead of the mind failing to seek wisdom
and believing that capacity to do things,
in the external world is all virtue and wealth?
Should the creator be killed, for the tools
and by the tools he created, as
flies in a swarm and birds in a flock?
Somewhere, somehow, may be a trifle
unaware , unintended we have made a wrong turn.


Kulo Thungan

Deliberation
No! You will not cry.

No country is worth living in.
No time convenient to die.

Why should everybody be happy?
Why shouldn't there be bombs?

Why should there be a limit to misfortune?
Why can't the gloom be versatile?

Look ! the desert is expanding
misanthropists are being praised.


Genius is bogged
males are sleeping with males.
A woman from the East
is eating her child...alive;
In Canada
an eleven- year -old grew old
and died.
The body is just a change.


Change?
You thought you could change?
Save your breath!
Siddhartha, Christ
even Gandhi had the same illusion.
And each one died a dog's death.

A blind man pushing
Millions of blind men
Into a black hole---- history
That's what it is called.
And the pusher and the pushed
Till dissolved--midway
Never realised
They were wrong.

Still you think you can embrace the void
Heal the wound of the wind
Make a mark on the sands of time,
Repeat the legend of Midas.

Well, tragedy is rather off-beat,
Plot .. surrealistically contrived.
Slush has taken over the sea
Fever has become the norm.
The face of night has a celestial glow
Torture --- depersonalised.
A villain stabs the anti-hero
And carries the cross,
Asking spectators
If they need an oxygen -mask.
And why not.
After all it's a perennial dream
Where green is green
Till you have seen
The image of horror.

Look into the mirror!
A whole civilisation screams and sobs.
Only you will not yell.
Try and forget
The world…… I.

There are many versions of hell.

Kailash Vajpeyi

The Call of The Nation
Through crevices of flowery green
Hisses the yellow dragon.
It crawls at the very foot of the peaks.
The Himalayas are wide awake.

Cool and deceiving is its body
But fierce hatred burns in its heart.
'Tis out to drink fresh, innocent blood,
Bring Bhima's mace and kill the python.

If the Himalayan valleys call,
Sahyadri peaks will gird their loins.
India will offer her very life-blood,
And pour her treasures at the Mother's feet.

Freedom's not a toy to break, my child.
The hawk haunts our borders.
What safety is a hedge to a growing garden
When the wild bull roams?
O my people! How long will you sleep?

Will you build your nests in dingy wells
Of oblivion and rot there for ever?
The snow-capped mountains thrill to the dawn
And hold the tri-colour sky-high.

India rises , sinking her differences.
Her gallant battalions guard her freedom,
Oiling their torches with their own blood.
Come, bow down to martyrs!

Who dares assault a million hands
When hands are turned into fists?
Our strength is in our hills and rivers.
Our motherland's name itself is strength.

Communism ,the bull-dozer,
Crushes seedlings numberless.
Hold your heads high , breathe the mountain air
And be men, O comrades!

Plough the field and feed the factory
While our comrades march ahead.
Peace flows from the nation's soul
And all hearts will hail its coming.
The Mother calls!

Chennavira Kanavi

The Children of India
We are the children of India.
We conquered our enemies with truth and love
And ruled on earth with charm and grace,
Rejoicing as a noble race.

We are the children of India.
We found joy in renunciation.
We frolicked with the Master of yoga
And discovered many paths to Reality.

We are the children of India.
When the world's multitudes
Were groping for the Lord,
We plunged into recesses of our being
And realised Him in our very core.

We are the children of India.
We fluted with our hearts in our throats
And revelled in ethereal notes.
Playmates of the Divine,
We trampled death and pain.
We are the children of India.

Betgari Krishna Sharma

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The Death of a beggar boy(Compassion to all forms of life)
By mornin
 
g he was gone,
Like a feeble bird his body was resting
on the soft fawns of the public park.
Not once in his life had he
received such a gentle touch from anyone.

All through the night
a host of stars watched over him,
perhaps to grasp the despair
and sadness of the dying flame.
Or, to listen at least once
to the feeble words of his mild complaint.

But he was quiet,
continuing to look at those
myriad earthen lamps of the sky
with his failing eyes.
He had nothing to say.
He had no strength to speak.
No eagerness.
He nursed not even an iota of grievance
against this wide world.

The moon, with her gentle rays,
caressed him as had his mother long lost.
The stars, like shiny,
small coins,
dropped into his aluminum bowl,
which lay there like an empty skull.

Caressed thus, as he was at his infancy,
he lay listening to lullaby of the

 

breeze
(come dearest moon,
gently drop into my child's lap...),
until endless sleep overpowered him.
He was gone by the morning
The morning was gone by then.

May brotherhood dwell forever in India
Give me such a boon....

May all these sects and schools look one
May there be no diversity of thought

May the rich and the poor thrive together in harmony
May they well be Hindu or Christian or Muslim,
may the happiness of freedom dwell among them all
Give me such a boon ....

May all realise the humanity and nationhood
May a mass prayer be sung in chorus everywhere
May here be seen the industrious and upright youth
Give me such a boon ....

May all of us unite dissolving communal sentiments
May the untouchability be uprooted radically from the world
May truth and justice dwell
even in the mind of the crooked and the reviling
Give me such a boon ....

May heavenly grace linger in every house
May misfortune, fear and oppression be annihilated
May Tukdya forever be engaged in this sacred service
Give me such a boon ....

Saint Tukdoji Maharaj

Hail thee O holiest of the holy
You are replete with auspiciousness
The giver of the good, 0 Goddess Liberty.
May I pay obeisance to you

You are the personified spirit of the nation
You are the sanctifier of the fortunes
0 Liberty the goddess, you are the queen of these glories.
In the sky of subjection,
you become the sparkling star dazzling high
Goddess Liberty, you are the blush
on the flowers of cheeks or the cheeks of flowers
You are the lustre of the sun
and you are the solemnity of the ocean
0 Goddess Liberty, its you who exist,
or else will befall the eclipse

 

of annihilation

Redemption and salvation
are only your forms
Goddess Liberty, sages and ascetics
call you 'Parabramha' in the Vedas
Whatever is excellent, august, lofty
and the sweetest. 0 Liberty, becomes your companion

You are fear-stricken by England though,
my mother is not a helpless woman,
0 ocean, now she'll relate all this to Agasti
who, in a mere ritual, swallowed you up
in a single gulp
0 ocean, my soul is in agony ....

I'll conquer and live on this earth
Battlefield is merely a play-ground for me
Whether the sword befalls my head,
or a crown is placed on my head.
Service to the nation
is service to God - I believe
In my heart dwells unwavering faith
Solideris my name....

Fearlessness swells up in my heart
and in my eyes -- fire
My head is held high

 


My hand holds a weapon
with hundred iron-spikes
So do I stand day and night
Let me see, which enemy - and from where-
dares to wage an attack
Soldier is my name.

Vinayak Damodar Sawarkar

Palestine
We housed them in prisons
For they wanted a home,
We killed them for they wanted eternal life
Then bulldozed their prisons into fields of corn

What's that hand sticking out from the earth?
Other hands will sprout from it....
And tickle us to death.

Navakanta Barua

The Earthen Lamps
Let the earthen lamps go floating down
With the current of the river
Each earthen lamp is a sacramental offering
Made by pouring out the heart
They are going ahead--the earthen lamps
Taking the water route
In search of inter-stellar spaces.
At some moment
Darkness would pull in
The last earthen lamp,
Will the earthen lamps mingle
with the stars
Founder under water at might?


The waves which carry the
earthen lamps
Are the photographs of my songs
At the limits of my songs also
There is a red-blue-yellow
festival of lights:
My song is a finely chiselled face
Decked with the light and shade
of well-arranged locks of hair


Or is it a flower of the night's dew
That dropped through stricken darkness
Into the place for throwing refuse?

My song is a seed planted in the uterus
of the inter-stellar spaces---
Gems filling the river -bed at night?
The waves undulate the earthen lamps
The wind makes the flames dance,
My songs are also versified
By thoughts of the public and my own
individual speed
Although throughout the world

Arms practice for hitting the right target
is going on
The earthen lamps, that is, the sacramental
offerings
Made by pouring out the heart
Are going like a reeling boat,
Then the blinding light of weapons
Cannot devour the light of these
earthen lamps
For, even after all the wielding of arms
is ended
The need for setting adrift the reeling
earthen lamps
Would come upon us.

Being desirous of salvation
Even then one well have to go on looking
At the flickering and yet again flickering
Eternal earthen lamps,
At the dead-alive stars
Found on the river-bed at night.]

Chakibor,1992

Wind
Wind has come leaving the trees
From this bank from that bank of the river
From the bird's nests from the hollows of the trees
Wind has come down
The gentle wind of the field has come
Leaving the green
The wind of thorny bush
Has come out silently
The wind sleeping beneath the fallen leaves
In the bamboo-grave had also come out
The wind of sorrow has also come
Leaving the sailing-boats of evening

In an empty field
Wind is dancing unfurling her hair
Hand in hand
She had uncovered her breast in the sky

What a spring time festival is there today!

Nilim Kumar

Thief
1.
My father caught him
In the betel-nut garden
And he rubbed his eyes and
Acting them out
Keeping time to our burst of shouting
And to the little swishes of our bamboo twigs.
We also became strong that day
With the vapour of Father's proud and swelling chest.
We bound him and foot
In the Saturday-market, that was the punishment fixed for him.
The whole of the midday he shines
In the bunches of ripe betel-nuts.

2.

He is an ancient thief
In the creases of his rough skin
Sleeps the marks left by the beating of bamboo twigs.
He jumps about in the betel-nut leaves
Faster than the birds.
Pitchers for carrying water, small water pot
Choppers and axes and sometimes
The shining white dhoti of someone
Is also the marked out thing in the twinkling of his eyes.
And what a charming scene
When the villagers chase him
He jumps and jumps over the bamboo gates
Drain after drain
With what abandon his'dhoti' flies
Tearing the green
How his sweaty muscles glisten and go out of sight
Raising a tide of mysterious joy in our mind and body
Thus he becomes our own
The whole village, all the householders.
Trees and creepers are all cages
And search for his vigorous arrival in the dark.


3.

And he laughs un the horizon
With his pale face lined like the face of a sage
And sticking out cheekbones.
With his wild way of life
He becomes the most mysterious being
In my tiny green world.
And did he soak, did he soak me up also
With his primitive dance-posture?
For stealing from under my grandfather's pillow
I brought him 'bidis'


4.

My deserted homestead of my past
Is now devastated and of concrete.
Trees and shrubs of stone and brick
Breath with leaves of glass panes
In this jungle of glass
Where is it lost, where is it lost
That mysterious ancient being of mine?
I want that he steals
From my dining table the iron apples
The bronze grapes, the fleshy chopper
And from the fridge the white cold laughs.

Nilim Kumar

Crimson Clouds
So long as the earth turns red
With the blood of innocent victims
So long shall the blue sky turn crimson
In mute sympathy
And flaming clouds give way to gusty storm
Storm!
Why fear, my friend?
We are but groves of silent trees
It's the storm which gives us voices
A name and recognition
I know full well
This gale intense shall break us all
Tearing our hearts, uproot old weeds
Blowing away the piled up refuse of years.

Why fear,my friend?
We shall not die
Dissolving into atoms, we shall blend
With the land, the sea,the sky
The distant horizon

We are immortal!
The raging storm of revolution
Shall hear our laughter
So long there falls
A single drop of blood upon this earth
We shall arrive
So long there falls a solitary teardrop
We shall remain!

Dinesh Das

Pets
At first he had a few pups
they grew up and strayed away.

Then he had some kittens
he gave them away to neighbours.

he had red fish as pets
they died.

then, he had a parrot---
One day when it was out of the cage
the neighbour's cat picked it up.

In this way his habit
of keeping pets did not die.

Now we hear he has human pets,
(abundant, redundant);

Probably the neighbour's bombs
will take care of them

Even so they will show no sign
of diminishing in numbers.

Prabhakar Machwe

Freedom
We march on to keep our freedom.
Who dares confront us?
Liberty is the breath of life.
Without it man is a weakling.
How can we rest
When our freedom is in peril?
And so we march to keep our freedom.

Freedom blesses our Mother's progeny.
Freedom sheds glory on her name.
Freedom outlasts fame.
And so we comrades march ahead
To keep our freedom inviolate.

An alien yoke but oppresses the neck.
To throw it off is nectar to the soul.
This is what makes the Mother happy.
Otherwise the earth is a prison.
We march to keep our freedom.

Birds have their pathways in the sky.
And fish their high roads on high seas.
Rivers forge their path through mountains.
Why in duress should we be?
We march to keep our freedom.

Our blood seethes,
Our hearts are heavy with shame.
O, Father , test us, our strength.
Stand by us in our hour of trial
As we march to keep our freedom.

D.R. Bendre

We are one
Indians, we are one.
We are all one.
Parents of a new Republic,
Our today is the begetter
Of an unprecedented tomorrow.

If only we threw our feuds to the winds
And danced like waves of the self-same sea,
As kinsmen in spirit,
The heavens themselves will be
in the palm of our hand.

Father!
You blessed us with health and wealth,
With the plenitude of harvests
And mined gold and silver.
My children, you said,
Live and be happy.

Freedom is the dreaming spire,
Of all religions and creeds.
Our one prayer is the happiness of all,
The harmony of all.

Man, the seeker,
Is bent on his unending quest.
The myriad melody of our land
Sweetens the song.


If One Wants that Bird
You know,
there was a king in Mongolia,
who once invaded some
distant kingdom, where
he heard a new bird singing,
and wanted the song for himself.
For the sake of the song , he wished to capture
the bird , with the bird its nest,
the branches that held the nest,
the trunk of the tree, the tree itself ,
the roots, the earth that held the roots,
the village,
the water,
the surrounding land,
the country,
the entire kingdom......
Wanting to take them all
he gathered together all the remaining
elephants, horses, chariots
and soldiers,
conquered the entire kingdom,
annexed it to his empire

and never retured home.

A.K. Ramanujan

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