A skewed panorama

Painting by Sankara Rao Bhatta

A skewed panorama

Never must we forget
what is etched now into the cornerstones of history
was once written on fragile canvases
by human hands like yours and mine.
Reins of kingdoms dropped on the way
picked up by sycophants of yesterday.
Sweetness of tongue splayed upon  pages
when flattery became a life-saving shame.
Golden palaces or termite hills
or a  shroud over decayed moral ills.
Benevolence and valour can even mean
nepotism and fantasia
translated in the mesmerising  glare of glittering bait.
The true image drowned by time’s waves
re-emerging as heroism in twisted tales.
May the book serve as a beacon
in showing us the path ahead.
We often err in hiding behind it
for it never was, a shield for cowards
nor a walking stick of strong credentials
to bear the weight of human follies.
Let the mellow pages instead teach
the lessons which time forgot
in classrooms in the refreshing shade of a banyan.
‘O’ Eternal breeze! Do open our inner eyes!

©Reena Prasad  Published in the anthology Indus Valley

6 thoughts on “A skewed panorama

  1. Books can lie and show us a skewed panorama of the past .”Never must we forget
    what is etched now into the cornerstones of history
    was once written on fragile canvases
    by human hands like yours and mine”…how true and so history books and even scriptures as it comes to us through the ages can be twisted and turned out of its context . After all , they are only words and language can undergo so many changes in its contours and textures with time. You have so rightly said that knowledge, learning, reading should all serve to open our inner eyes..if not all is naught. Very powerfully Reena.


    1. Thank you Nadira, It was a real pleasure reading your review, one feels so good when the gist of a poem is so well understood even more because the writer is sometimes unaware of how the poem is going to be interpreted by the reader. It looks even better when described in your words, than it really is!


  2. Exploring the hidden or forgotten is a fantastic idea, to channel the twisted a difficult task, to dig is important, to do it right is more important since it is twisted and possibility of misinterpretation is highly likely. Nice going!


    1. Thank you Harish, the context in which things are written ,is often missing from the picture after a few centuries. The way we interpret it , depends on our outlook towards life. Most history books are translations or modified versions dep. on the viewpoint of the person writing them rather than actual events. Rot learning of these books should never be encouraged.


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