Supreme Violations | Countercurrents

Thanks to Countercurrents for this space!

Because they couldn’t kill me before I was born they try to throw me off every cliff, into flames and push me into deranged arms Blame me for straying too near the edge Praise me to high heavens when I am defeated/broken/ dead Decorate my rotting corpse with candlelight vigils Call me their favourite warrior names for losing the fight[Read More…]

Source: Supreme Violations | Countercurrents

Waiting for Kalki

Waiting for Kalki

Reclining against the cold Himalayas, she waits
Her sobs reverberating above the muezzin calls and hymns
Aarti blazes at dusk meet haloed altar candles
yet fail to illuminate her weeping pipe dreams.
Her aura reduced to a flickering flame
Oh where are you Kalki? Still playing the waiting game?

Her attire in tatters, insidious assaults from her sons
she grips the frayed edges with her tempestuous smile
Blood oozing from her graying temples
as bigoted saws cleave her bosom into gushing rivulets.
“How do I stop those grabbing, lustful fingers?
I am her daughter but now pitted against my own brothers.”

She opens her peace-scented bowers to misguided souls
trying to soothe their hatred with forgiving tears
Ignoring her wounds, her love -drenched prayers,
They see only the gold glittering in her womb.
“Some brave sons she needs, a few virginal daughters too
I cannot light any more funeral pyres of her infants, all alone.”

A mother, our own, ravished shamefully by our gods
Her wise lap, a barren graveyard lashed by divisive tongues
Pull out poison -tipped arrows, tug at hateful weeds
Every iota and inch of her is almost a grisly battlefield.
Her bloody rivulets run down my bleeding fingers too
How do I feed babies with such sinfully soiled hands?

Lend me helping hands to sweep our colossal courtyard clean
to re-write our history on a dirt-repelling lotus leaf
of lives lost in vain, waiting for a Kalki to shoulder the blame.
-Reena Prasad

Under the mango tree

Under the mango tree

A lone mango tree stands
remembering a village old
Brown legs, frayed pockets , shining marbles
Beedi smoke of old men
Anklet chimes ,girlish chatter and
motherly concerns sweetening the breeze.
Life moved with the ease of time
dropping enough green mangoes
for pickles and little girls to eat with salt
savouring every drop, sweet and sour.

Somewhere in this bountiful land
adorned with nature’s green crown
Mothers turned into  Kaikeyis
neglecting little  Rams
hoping to transmogrify into modern queens
School masters shortened the lessons
omitting the moral part of stories
Soon the reek of distorted knowledge spread far
– to grab, to hoard for one’s gain.

There started the sickening saga
Childhood fast forwarded into youth,
into men selling daughters
Neither innocence nor  old age tremors
could deter them
Money was declared the leader
however soiled with gory sins
Entrepreneurs shed the last moral feathers
donning avaricious masks
Bulldozing honesty ,
trampling  over life with mafia boots
Reducing human values,
raising quotation stakes
God men with I-pods in armpits
hooked confused souls with immoral nets.

Bigger are the houses,yet hearts shrunk into  hard pebbles
Locks  galore often with lost keys
Paddy fields drowned under teak wood mansions
Muddy village ways ,now pot-holed death traps
The sprawling village horizontally  compressed into
oxygen depleted  sky-scrapers
The barren mango tree has sheds its last leaves
on forgotten graves rotting among its brethren roots.

©Reena Prasad PUBLISHED IN WORDS ON THE WINDS OF CHANGE( Brian Wrixon) Anthology.

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