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Gopalakrishna Adiga

(18 February 1918 - 14 November 1992 / Mogeri, Kundapura taluk, Udupi, Karnataka / India)

The Critic


Like a shadow you climbed the heights I climbed,
Crept into the lower depths I jumped,
Rubbing your wings to my wings you too flew towards the horizons I flew,
Explored, like me, new horizons; still,
You stood apart, untouched, spreading yourself
Above, below, around, piercing the sky,
Drilling the ground.

I opened myself from top to toe,
Filled the inside with salt,
Stitched the wounds,
Went underground, became a vampire,
Came up, jumped towards the sun, burnt the wings,
Fell on the ground,
On that very place built a cave around,
Became the very darkness of that cave,
Strived for fourteen years, became bitter,
Then ripened, exploded like fire,
Got back the wings-one seen, the other unseen.
Harmoniously I kept changing
From the concrete to the abstract, from the abstract
To the real-all these
Were seen by you too.
Still, like a shadow,
You remained whole, undisturbed.

You rise in the mind`s eye: you are not there outside,
But here in me:
Testing, measuring, weighing, checking-all these
Are your tasks. You pricked me with a needle
While I slept; let out
The unnecessary air while I swelled.
Are you an inside shadow? Or,
A spy from Chitraguptha?
You didn`t allow me to wander around
Like any emotion-bound animal would like to do.
You made me regret, burnt me with regret,
Caught me in the wheel of right and wrong,
Insulted me, dragged me to the streets, killed me,
By killing you rejuvenated me,
You, a Sani, a leech, yet a friend, my guru.

Submitted: Tuesday, July 10, 2012

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