Bijay Kant Dubey


The Saga of The Dark Daughter


Dark Daughter, Dark The World, Dark You
Dark daughter,
Dark the world,
Dark the story of Creation,
Dark the ways of life
And dark you,
Eking out a livelihood.

Under the chill and cold of the dark, solitary and lonely nights
Stand you all alone
As sculptures and figurines,
Sculpted out of stone
Or as terracotta plates
On the outer walls of the temples,
As masons and artistes,
But they knew not,
Cared not at least the troubles
Of living in the temple-complex.

Whatever call they, a devadasi or a sevadasi or a yogini,
But how can you in the temple courtyard
As a dancer or a yogini
Or as a disciple
Living with the mute gods and goddesses?





Dark Daughter…
Dark you, dark the world, dark the myths of Creation,
Which but you know it not,
Which but I know it not,
Dark is dark,
Mythical and mystical,
Metaphysical and creational,
Just like the riddles of Creation,
Shrouded in mystery.


1


Dark Daughter
Dark daughter, I see you as a small girl,
Weeping in the temple complex,
Who brought and left you,
Who brought and dumped you?

Dark daughter, you a little girl,
Innocent and ignorant,
How will you pass your days here,
How will you live here?

A small girl, you too are
The daughter of someone,
Some yearning mother and father,
But blind faith and superstition
Brought you here.




Dark Daughter
You are a small girl, very small girl
And a girl like you,
How will you live here
In the company of gods and goddesses,
Astrologers, alchemists and mendicants,
Priests, soothsayers and florists,
How, how will you?

A little girl like you, a lovely one,
How did they plot for,
Those superstitious and faith-blind people,
Was reason dead in them
Or were they cold to it?

Dark daughter, your innocent heart,
The world has not come to understand it,
Has not come to believe it,
Your innocent and simple heart,
Love undefiled.

2



Dark Daughter, I Heard You
Dark daughter, I heard you singing the song,
Yea, the folksong,
Carried by the wind,
Lost in the mood of yours,
Oblivious of what it to befall you
While playing with sand and dust,
A little girl you,
Talking with the sparrows,
With the flowers and inanimate things.

Dark daughter, I could not, could not portray you,
Your love and innocence,
The simplicity of your ignorant heart,
With out any guile in it,
Bereft of, free from any malice
Nurtured within,
As man here hates man,
Man here kills man
Out of vengeance, hatred, and malice.



Dark Daughter
Dark daughter, in many a mood of my pensive reflection
And vision,
Have I felt you,
Have I thought about you

Your life and destiny, a poor countryside girl,
If not, a simple heart like that of you,
Undefiled by,
Lying chaste and hidden so far.

In many a mood and vision,
Dream and reflection of mine,
Have I felt you,
Have I see you
In any a dream and vision of mine.


3



Who Is the Little Girl…?
Who is the little girl singing a song in her tune,
Who is the girl,
The small girl singing the song,
So innocently, so lyrically,
Singing from the heart,
A small girl she
That I am listening to,
That I am giving an ear to?

Methinks it a folk song sung and carried over
Down the years,
It the same voice I have been hearing,
Am in the like of,
It is the same tune played in tune
That I have been marking,
That I have been searching her.

Lord-god, you try to see her
A simple girl like her,
Save her, save her
In the distress
Save her, save her
In the agony of hers.
Who is the girl singing the folksong
And the wind carrying the music and sonority
Of the age-old song,
God, save her, save her,
The little girl from
What it befalls her.


4


Dark Daughter…
Dark daughter, dark you, dark the world and the ways of it
And darker the reflections of man
Who dwell in here,
But you are what you had been,
Ark but beautiful,
Not dark from your within,
In the purpose of yours.

Your external darkness has nothing to do
With internal darkness
And had it been,
You would not have come to greet in
And see off
And doing ta-ta, bye-bye
Until I lose sight of
From your country home.



Dark Daughter, Dark You, Dark The Kali
Dark daughter, dark you not only, Kali too dark,
As say they, haven't you heard, dark is beautiful
And hence, dark you, Kali too dark,
Dark the world, the ways of it
And the tales of it,
The myths revolving, doing the rounds.

As toiling womankind in labour, toil, tears and sweat
See I you labouring,
Bearing the pangs of creation,
Writhing under mental torture and inhuman endurance,
Eking out a living somehow
And hiding in the facts,
Letting them have their says.

Dark daughter, your toil, tears and forbearing
None has, none has come to comprehend it;
Your pains and pines,
Your scars and hurts, the wounds of your bleeding hearts
None has, none has come to believe it.

5


Dark Daughter, I See You Wet-Eyed
Dark daughter, dark daughter,
Why do you look sad and sombre today,
Why the pensive mood and reflection of yours,
What has it, what has it happened to you, dark daughter?

Why are you sad, lonely and gloomy,
Why are you looking pensive and dejected,
Despondent and depressed,
What is it that depresses you,
What is it that makes you ad and lonely and gloomy?

The tears in the eyes, the head hanging heavy
And you looking gloomy and sad,
It does not, does not make me happy
To see the tears trickling down the eye-lids,
Oh, the wet eye-lashes and the trickle of teardrops!




Dark Daughter, Tell, Tell Me Your Name…
Dark daughter, tell, tell me your names,
What your names,
What the entities of yours,
Whose daughters are you?

What it is dark, let it be,
As dark will remain dark,
Darker the things of the world,
The forces of it,
Which you know them not,
Which I too know it not.

Your names, I could not, could not know them,
What your humble identity,
What your poor entity,
Which said it they not,
Kept it hiding,
To make it a secret.

6



Dark Is Dark
What it was dark will remain, what it had been,
What it lies will continue to be in future,
Dark is dark,
Will continue to be,
As light and darkness are but the two sides of the same Creation,
As light is important, so is darkness
And had it been not dark, light would not have embarked upon.

Dark is dark, let it be, as it will continue,
Dark is dark not,
Dark is beautiful,
Dark dark not, dark dark, dark is beautiful.



Dark Is Beautiful
Dark is beautiful, dark is not dark,
As envisaged by you,
Dark is beautiful,
Dark dark, dark will it remain,
Dark dark not, beautiful.

Dark is beautiful,
Dark dark not,
Dark lovely and mysterious,
Mystical and mythical
And what it is, let it be,
Dark is beautiful.

What it was dark, will it remain,
As dark is beautiful,
Dark and lovely,
Mythical and mystical,
Ever eluding, ever dreading.


7

Dark Daughter…
Dark daughter, your toil, tears, sweat and blood,
The world could not
Your pangs,
Pains and pines,
Labours and bearings,
Struggles and sufferings,
Troubles and tribulations.

Dark daughter, your pains and pines,
Mental agonies and physical tortures,
The world could not
The pains and pines of your living,
The worth of your tears,
Shed from the eyes,
Fallen from the wet eye-lashes

And I saw you sobbing, weeping,
Weeping and wailing,
You breaking down inconsolably,
Bursting into tears,
Teardrops trickling down the cheeks
And none, but you yourself wiping out,
Wiping the face,
Trying to hide from, wiping and weeping.

Your love, dark daughter,
The world did not come to feel it,
Your poverty and hunger
Man could not,
Your love and simplicity,
Your humility and undefiled art and its long tradition.


Dark Daughter, What It Is…
Dark daughter, what it is dark will remain,
There is nothing as that can alter it,
Had it been not, light would not have got its value,
Light and darkness both are quintessential,
As both of them required and are complimentary to each other,
Light light, darkness darkness,
Light without darkness not complete and darkness without light not.

8


The Dark Girl Smiling In The Countryside
The dark girl smiling in the countryside,
Dark. but beautiful,
With a face cutting of her own,
Curly and cute,
But a rustic.

The small and simple village girl smiling,
Sweeping the courtyard of her mud-house,
Lighting an earthen lamp at eve
And bowing before the household deity.

The dark girl smiling, talking simply
In the poor countryside
Where poverty reigns supreme.




The Dark Daughter
Dark daughter, your pains, the world has not come to understand them,
You work as the nurse,
As the reaper,
As the help maid,
As the home maker

I see all these in you and your growing up,
You are the daughter of some father,
But have to go to someone else’s house
And their behaviour,
You know it not.

Dark daughter, your labours,
They value it not,
Pay not the price for,
What you do
And you get for.



9

I Fear It, Dark Daughter …
I fear as for your sleeping on the floor
Without the mosquito net,
Just on the date-leaf made mat,
Sleeping in the dark
Without a lamp.

The muddy house an that too thatched
Not believable,
Snakes and scorpions
Sometimes make a way into.

Dark daughter,
We made rock-built, centuries-old temples,
But we did never houses for ourselves,
Just for the gods and goddesses,
As for housing them,
We sacrificed it all.

The brick-built houses had not been so many,
Only the mud houses
Had been the dream of ours,
Had been the plan of ours.

And you worshipped the Snake-God,
Singing the prayer,
Tried to feed the cobras
Milk and rice puffs on auspicious occasions,
Worshipped in the Manasha temple
With the oral traditions and folklore
Of yours.

The fisherman venturing into the ponds and rivers,
I saw you as their daughter
Standing in a prayerful tone,
Offering prayers to Ma Manasha,
I saw you singing the song
In her prayer
And it reminding me of Bihula-Lakhinder gospel.



10


Your Poverty And Hunger
I feel sad, really very sad, when I see you sitting all alone,
Repentant and brooding over
Your poor resources
Within which you have to live in.

I find you half-fed and half-clothed,
A poor country girl,
Going to rural school
Running under the banyan tree of the hamlet,
Under the peepul tree
And you trying to read.

You sitting on a jute-made knapsack
With the slate and the lime-stick pencil
Trying to read and write poorly,
Without taking food
As the meal is served late in villages,
Just by taking the stale remnant food in the morning.

A village girl, I know you, know you, dark daughter,
I know it your pains and pines,
The pains of your living,
The sorrows of yours,
What it is that ails you,
Your poor self,
What it is that marauds your poor self.

Dark daughter, your falling tears,
The world never did it,
Man cared for not,
The pains of a girl,
A girl going to another’s house,
A girl taken to as a burden,
A family debt and burden
To be dispensed with,
O, how could it be this!


11


Dark Daughter, What to Tell you?
Dark daughter, what to tell you, about you
And your things,
The history of the world,
The history of creation,
The history of man, earth and time,
Time cosmic and mechanical,
Everything but shrouded in mystery?

Dark daughter, dark is dark, let it be,
As I cannot unravel it,
You too cannot,
Dark is dark,
Let it be,
Dark is beautiful,
Dark is dark not,
Beautiful and lovely.


Dark Daughter, You Are A Daughter…
Dark daughter, you are my daughter,
His daughter, their daughter,
A daughter a daughter,
Maybe she his or mine or yours,
But a daughter a daughter,
My filial love, your filial love,
Their filial love,
And we will move away,
But our love shall.

Touching your cheeks, hearing you stammer and lisping,
I get remembered of my daughter,
Innocent and simple,
Ignorant and guileless,
Which but you may interpret otherwise,
As what will you about my daughter,
And think you of her
As your own daughter
And this very thinking is not in all,
Maybe he a great judge on paper,
In ink and his initial,
Save life and think about rescuing it
And there is judgement than this?


12



Dark Daughter, I Turned Sad
Dark daughter, when you were born, the people
In the village,
Had not been feeling good,
They were talking of the family burden
And the debt,
Taking your complexion and others,
They were saying many a thing,
Which but saddened.

Can the birth of a female baby be a burden for the whole of family,
Can it be taken as a debt,
The increase in family debt,
Can it be that the incumbent will stain a blot on the forehead
Through her works?

Dark daughter, the world has failed to understand your psyche,
Your heart and soul,
Has misinterpreted you quite often,
Has misjudged you
That you too a man,
That you too a heart and a soul.

Your sad and pensive reflection and brooding,
Your broken self,
Forlorn heart,
You weeping sadly and slowly,
Inconsolably,
This strikes me, strikes me, dark girl,
Dark, but beautiful indeed,
There is nothing to question in this regard.




Dark Daughter, You Are A Flower
Dark daughter, though dark, but beautiful,
You are a flower,
Blooming darkly
Or having the traces of streaked beauty,
Of the blue colour,
But beautiful.

The dark complexion too has a beauty of its own,
Your face-cutting,
Your smiles,
No less than, no less than.
13



Dark Daughter, You Are Not…
Dark daughter, who calls you dark, dark is Kali,
Dark the myths of the Creation
Shrouded in mysteries,
Darker the myths of life
And the world?

You say it, what is it not dark,
Dark the history of man,
Darker the myth of life,
Human birth originating
From the womb,
You say it, say it, dark daughter?

Your labour and menial work,
The world could not, could not,
Dark daughter,
Your pains and tears falling idly,
Your labours,
Your struggles and sacrifices,
Your services.

Your yearnings and aspirations for a good living,
For a good life,
All that vanished it
And they could not feel it, could not feel it,
The dark daughter,
The aspirations gone waste;
Oh, your troubles and tribulations,
Your brows tense and the heart beating!

Dark daughter, whatever are you, ethnic, racial, archetypal,
Mythical, symbolical, supernatural,
Dark or different from these,
You be happy, you be happy
And besides it, what can I do,
Barring this benediction?
May God bless you, bless you, dark daughter!
Dark daughter, may God bless you, bless you!




14




D ark Daughter, In This World Dark, Dark, All Dark And Alone
Dark daughter, in this world, dark and lonely,
You lying abandoned as sculptures and figurines
Made in clay, wood and stone,
Made and carved from,
Decorating the temples.

Under the dark skies of lonely nights,
Stand you as sculptures and figurines
Placed on the outer walls of the temples,
Under the chill and mist,
Nights solitary and dark.

Who were those who made you and left you here
In the temple complex,
Who, who were those sculptors
Who made and left you here
In the company of the middle men,
Florists and astrologers, palmists and pseudo-religious persons?

Dark daughter, in this world dark and lone,
Dark, dark, all dark and alone,
You staring at
The ways of man and his manners,
The false soothsayers and their words,
The false palmists selling stones,
The religious men talking of papa-punya.

Dark daughter, what are you,
Are you a folk singer, a folk dancer or a folk painter,
What are you in reality,
Are you the one
Who was made to come
As per the false oracle or the priestly commitment
That the first prayerful child would be to the service of gods and goddesses?

Are you a nautch girl of some kingly court
Won and gifted with,
Are you a sevadasi
Or a devadasi, what are you,
What are you indeed?

Who has brought you here,
As the temple complex is not for you,
Dark daughter, whose daughter are you indeed?
15




Dark Daughter, Dark You, Dark The World We Dwell In
Dark daughter, dark not you, dark the world,
The history and tradition of it,
And ours is a story begun in darkness,
Out of darkness came we
And to that darkness,
Shall we.

In this world, dark, dark, dark,
Dark and lonely,
Where to go, what to do,
Which way to follow,
Which know you not,
Know I it not?

Dark the history of the world and of man,
Dark the origin of Creation,
Dark, dark you
And dark the images and pictures
Of the life of man and that of his existence on earth.

When there was no life on earth, when there was nothing,
Only chaos prevailed in,
Dark, dark was it all,
Darkness engulfing all around
When there was no life,
When nothing else existed it here.

Dark daughter, are you the images
Of nightly sculptures and figurines,
Are mythical and mystical,
Are you mundane or supernatural,
What, what are you,
Whose daughter are you?

Dark daughter, are you the tear fallen from the eyes of your parents
Or of the woman-workers at work,
Engaged in temple building or construction works
Working day and night,
Under heat and dust,
Even without taking food
As the nature of the job is?

16




They Call You Dark
They call you dark, a dark complexioned girl,
But you are not so much
As they think,
You are dark in their eyes,
But not in the eyes of your parents.

Why to call you dark if know we not
The virtues in you,
You are a small girl,
A lovely child of your parents,
Your mother and father
And if this be, how can I call you dark?

Your beauty is native beauty,
Aboriginal, ethnic, racial,
Dark, but not ugly,
Dark but beautiful,
You too dark,
Kali too dark.

Kali Kali, Kaal-rupa,
The Night of Darkness and Delusion,
Kalratri, Maharatri, Moharatri,
Kali Shyama Kali, Blue-faced,
Kali Meditative,
Motherly and Divine.

The gipsy girls showing the poses and postures of Yours,
Bhagabati,
Through pantomime
And it is really great to see them performing
In their rustic antics,
The plays of Yours.

They selling the busts of bulging Kalis,
Kali red, red,
Red-tongued and beaming with,
Blessing.

The faces of anger and glee can be marked
As they themselves speak a lot about
And similar the experiences and feelings of yours,
Dark daughter.

17




The Grand Statue of Kali That Saw I
A grand statue of Kali saw I, dark daughter,
So tall and high,
With the third eye on the forehead
By the side of the red beauty spot
And in the third eye,
Saw I the crescent
And she appeared to be a yogan,
Illusory and hallucinatory

With the stars studded around
And the long black hair waist-long,
With the arms into her four arms
And holding the snake as well,
The heads of the sinners cut into and stacked into the hands
And you holding one or two

The blood-red tongue out of the mouth,
A dribble of blood hanging by the tongue,
In anger divine, she seemed to have lost her temper
And was indignant to revenge,
Destroy the evil forces,
Slay the sinners on earth,
To lessen sin.




Are You My Love of Art And Tradition?
Are you, dark daughter, my love of art, history and its tradition,
History, art and culture,
Are you my love of sculptures and figurines,
In clay or potteries?

Whenever I pass through the sites where the terracotta temples lie,
I saw you on the panels,
The borders decorating the temple walls,
Especially the outer walls
And you sitting there as a yogan,
A renouncer or as one half-divine.




18




Are You Visions And Reflections?
Somewhere in history
Long back, when medievalism corroded your soul,
The looters marauded the country,
The invasions by foreigners
And for fear of falling into the uncouth hands,
Played you the role of a Vishkanya?

I have seen you, seen you
Playing with the cobras and vipers
As the daughter of the snake charmer,
A gipsy girl
With the deadly snakes.

I have seen you walking over the rope
Tied to two makeshift bamboo poles
And you balancing on
Going,
An acrobat girl.



Dark Daughter, Are You A Step-daughter?
Playing in dust and clay,
Neglected by the father
Who married for the second time
And the step-mother so dear to him
That he in her love,
Abandoning you.

Dark daughter, in you, see I a child
Turned a widow
And living a restricted life,
Forbidden to eat red, dress red and think red,
Abandoned to take onion and garlic too.

Dark daughter, when I see you playing
In heat and dust,
I can understand the limitations of rustic life
And that too of being motherless
And the treatment meted out to step-daughters
After the death of good wives.

How does she curse you when you do not any work,
How does she torture you, maltreat you
Instead of your homely works and baby-keeping,
How does she go complaining against you often?
19



Dark Daughter, One Day…
Dark daughter, I shall go away from the world,
As the telegram none can avoid it,
And I shall have to go
And shall pass out of sight.

I shall not come back again,
My daughter,
You too will grow up a little bit,
But a small girl like you
Will not be able to handle the things
Of the intriguing world?

Who will see you then, who will,
Dark daughter,
You try to feel in,
Who will see you then,
My daughter?

For your love, simple heart and soul,
What have I,
I think it within,
As find I busy with my own,
In the smaller activities of my own
And frequently forget I,
What it ought to have been,
Isn’t it, my love?

For your love, for you, I do not want anything else,
I just want my daughter,
How to save you from heat and dust,
The tempestuous night of disaster,
How to protect you from the wild animals,
How to keep you safe from disease, death and dismay?

My daughter, come that day,
When I shall not be, but you will be here,
You will be, but I shall not be here,
But you have to on guard of.





20


Dark Daughter, Your Sorrows
Your sorrows, the world could not, oh, your sorrows,
The world could not understand them,
What it is dark remained it dark
And what it is will continue to evade and elude,
Dark is dark,
As one should have the capacity to understand,
Comprehend the mystery.

Dark daughter, the myths of darkness, the world has failed
To interpret and analyze,
To comprehend it,
Which a few can think about,
How to lay them bare,
How to unravel the truths of life and the world?

Dark is dark, will it remain so, as it continues to evade and elude
And these can never be,
The myths of darkness,
As light keeps lurking to break forth
In the forms of the dawn-break and the twilight.

What it was dark will remain, will continue to be
And it is not within the power of man
To resolve that,
Dark is dark,
Dark is dark not, beautiful and lovely,
Mythical and mysterious,
What it was dark will continue to evade and elude us.

The myths of darkness, I want to unravel them
And it is none who can show light
On these,
Which have evaded man from time to time
And a few have tried to know them, experiment with
Rather than be misled by ritualistic jargons.

Dark is dark and will continue to be
And what it is dark was in the beginning
And will continue to be,
As without it, light will lose the meaning,
Dark is dark, let it be.



21



The Myths of Darkness
The myths of darkness, the mysteries of it,
There is none to tell me,
Barring the dark girl,
Which but she herself can tell it
By relating to folklore.

A dark girl, living in a hamlet,
Surrounded by trees and hills,
Without the lamp,
Without the resources,
Telling the tales of life and the world
As seen by hers.

A poor and humble girl, a rustic maid,
A small girl,
She lying on a string cot,
Made from ropes and the bamboo poles,
Marking the stars and the moon
And telling tales of life and the world.

Life wasn’t so fast as we see it,
Life wasn’t so comfortable as we see it today,
Without the books, medicines, clothes,
Without the school, the post-office and the shops,
There used to be the hamlets and thorps
Away from the main road.

During measles and small pox, she had but to pray to
Ma Shitala under the neem tree,
During the scorpion bite, she had but the snake-god
To pray to,
The vermillioned fresco of Kali in the mud-built temple
Used to be the strength,
The god of the woods used to bring her
Missing cattle
And as thus faith used to be sustained by.

There is nothing to uphold you, just the faith sustaining you,
A poor and humble rustic girl,
A simpleton away from
The deep-seated mysteries and human fallibility,
Away from the cold touch of logic and reason,
Science and technology.

22


Dark Daughter, How To Call You?
Call her not dark, as she is also the daughter of somebody else,
If not yours, what then to it,
She is after all a daughter of someone else,
The bosom of somebody,
The heart and soul of that fellow,
The apple of an eye,
Call her not dark,
She is also the daughter of some lovely father
And if this be the thing, how can she be dark?

Mark the eyes of hers which want to speak something,
The nose, the lips, the face-cutting,
Hands and legs
Of the humble girl,
A very small girl,
Away from modernity and development,
Urbanity and societal progress,
A country girl,
A flower by the rocks of the rivulet
Which flows in between the hills.

She plucks the flowers from the weeds and grasses
And the creepers wild,
Sticks into her hair
And sings a folk song of hers
And the wind carries it forward to other side;
She speaks with the lambs
Holding into the lap of hers,
The goats
And talking with returns the ways home.

The shanty is the place of her dwelling,
The mud-built pastoral house,
Straw-thatched
And raw
And from there she learns to measure and guess from
From the stars rising, the moon resplendent and the birds chirping,
The dawn-break flashing upon.






23

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History of Man, History of Time, History of Earth, History of The World…
History of man,
History of time,
History of earth,
History of the world,
You never discussed and debated it,
You never tried to know them in questioning
And you accepted, abided by
What said they, interpreted they
With regard to them
As per their observation.

It was faith, your simple faith and belief
Which sustained you
In the times of your crisis
And called you God,
Sometimes heard He,
Sometimes not,
But something lay it definitely outside your circle
Of conventional understanding
And it was rational thinking
Which lacked you perhaps.

Forgetting your cares and anxieties,
Played you, danced you
With the small-small boys and girls,
Plucking the flowers of light from the skies,
Danced you a folk dance
Into the courtyard of your own,
Under the nights gleefully,
Marking the milky white moonshine,
But it was your childish antics.

Away from, made you the Shiva lingams in sands
And offered you blooms
Collecting from the grassy stalks and weeds,
Which the conservative priest would not have,
But you in your innocence and ignorance,
Closing the eyes and whispering,
Om namah shivaya, om namah shivaya,
God understood,
But we could not, dark daughter.



24


Your Dismay, The Uncertainties of Fate, The Crisscrosses of It
Your dismay, dark daughter, the uncertainties of Fate,
The crisscrosses of it,
What does your fate-lines say to,
How the Writ of Destiny,
What to say to
And which astrologer can say it?

Your dismay, the path lying ahead, the uncertainty of fate
And its reconcilement,
Acceptance with a calm resignation,
The writ of poor destiny
And the days ahead,
You crossed it not,
Took for accepted,
Making up the mind as for
Bearing the pains
Whatever may be they, come they, yet to befall.

You could not know whether the brother would give to you
After your departure
And they just took you
To be a burden going off
And after that you would go away,
You looked not back
As for to be benefited from the partition of properties.

Wherever live you, be happy, dark daughter,
As to struggle and suffer and sacrifice,
The name of toiling womankind
In tears and blood,
Sweating and labouring to bear forth
And Cruel Divinity goes it marking.

On stroking your cheeks, think I
Of the bygone days,
When many, many used to succumb to pregnancies,
Child-age pregnancies,
Which the Orthodox Society failed to understand it so reasonably
And Poor Destiny saw the destitute as thus;
In the times of hardships and great trouble,
God too gave not the company to the Poor And Labouring Soul.



25


Your Changing Times of Life, Dark Daughter
When it cooed the cuckoo, cooed you in imitation
And the bird sometimes after being teased
Went on responding to her,
When it howled the jackal, came you closer to your mother
During the night-time

And when the village community gathered to cremate
At some closer by far off,
You asked your mother
To give an ear to the voices
Resounding, coming feebly
During the night-time.

A little girl, I saw you, playing in the courtyard at eve,
I saw you taking the stale loaf of bread with just salt or molasses
Or with raw tomato or radish
At dawn-break
And the black crow too after you, sometimes with you,
Ogling to snatch a crumb of that.

I saw you loving the goats of your shed and playing with
As a child does,
A shepherd girl,
Sometimes returning back with the lilies
Pink and white
At twilight from the pastures
With so much so day-long fatigue and thirst.

Dark Daughter, I Love You, I Love You Very Much
Dark daughter, I love you, I love you very much,
I like you, like you,
Your sweet innocence and ignorance,
The purity of wording,
The simplicity of heart,
Where to, where to get that,
O, priceless, priceless are these!

You playing with dust and clay,
You worshipping with the blooms
Collected from the weeds and creepers wild
And their innumerable varieties,
Your talking to birds,
Sparrows and sterlings,
I haven’t, haven’t, dark daughter.
26




Who are You, Who Are You?
Whose daughter are you, who you are, who you are, dark daughter,
What your identity, what your entity,
Where do you live,
Why are you here,
What will you in the temple complex
By being a sevadasi,
A serving maid,
A disciple or a florist,
By being a devadasi
Dedicated to gods and goddesses,
Seeking company in them
Or looking after,
Clothing, bathing, feeding and wrapping over,
But the gods and goddesses of stone,
Deaf, dumb and blind
And if this be, why are you here,
What will you get in the end?

To do kathaka on special occasions and that too in the temple good,
But the concept of satyam, shivam, sundaram
Does not go down well all the times
In this world of bare realities
And this cruel part too has got its own side of expression,
The search for the auspicious cannot continue for long,
The blue bird flapping wings, a paste of turmeric and curd on the forehead,
The small calf licking the teat of the small cow,
To see fish at the time of departure,
The black cow, the black bitch and the black cat sighted at,
This is but one side of the picture

While on the other how to keep the company of them
Of the priests, astrologers, florists, middle men, fortune tellers and soothsayers
In the temple complex,
The semi-divine, the half-mad, the half-addicts and the half-abnormals,
Te inactive men,
The fatalists and the superstitious,
A mass of the backward, conservative, hypocritical, faith-blind and poor fellows,
The earth parching
And a world of hunger and heat and thirst and poverty
Let loose upon the earth,
The crows crowing
And the midday sun scorching,
A country raked by crowing for food and water.

27



Dark Daughter, What To Say?
Who is what it is very difficult to say,
Who a yogi, sadhu, fakir and sadhaka,
Who has how and fore what?

The so-called sadhu in the ashrama
May be a fake sadhu,
Smoking ganja
And eloping with disciples,
Who can say it but?

And just for them, those pseudo-sadhus,
People fail to distinguish in between
Real sadhus and false sadhus,
Just for those ganjeris and bhangeris,
Calling it Shiva’s herbal roots.


Dark Daughter, What To Tell You?
You a little girl, you will not comprehend
What it ails me, marauds my self,
What it maligns me,
What to say to you, what to say to you,
Dark daughter?

What have done for the widows, women and girls,
What have we since,
You say it, say it, dark daughter,
What our attainment,
What the rhythm and pace of our work?

Flesh trade, woman trafficking rampant in our society,
How to do away with these,
How to bring it under control these
Maligning our soul,
The birds caged and sold in the bazaar?

Our shopping malls, plazas, skyscrapers and hi-tech centres
Just show the painted side of our civilization and civility,
Speak of our vanity, hypocrisy, tongue in cheek laughter,
Not that how human are we from our within,
How generous and benevolent are we!



28




Dark Daughter, This Is The World of Sin And Temptation
Dark daughter, what to say about human temptation and frailty
As succumbs he often to his weaknesses,
This world of sin and temptation
And the fall from,
As sinners are we, sinful are the activities of ours
And all day-long we go on sinning against sin,
Who to redeem us?

From sin issue we and in sin perish we,
Sinners are we and sinful are the activities of ours
And if this be as such, how to get retribution,
How to be redeemed,
How to be absolved of sins?

Dark daughter, dark are the stories of human temptation,
Lust and greed,
You do not know it,
How hungry are they,
How thirsty are they,
How lustful are they!

The stories of human greed, hunger, thirst, temptation are many,
People entice, elope with and dump down elsewhere,
To use and throw cannot be our goal of life,
As we know not the purpose of our living,
Why are we here,
What the purpose of ours?

If this can be as such, can we call ourselves pious and holy,
Virtuous and charitable, religious and pietistic,
Sacred and sacrosanct,
If this be as such, how to be pure and good,
How to be faithful?

Many will entice and abandon you at the crossroad of life,
Dark daughter, you a little daughter
Will not the intrigue and coquetry of the commonly,
What it is in my heart, what in theirs,
Dark daughter, you know it not,
The traps of the ever plotting, ever planning world,
You know it not, a little girl you,
What have you seen, what have you understood?


29



Dark Daughter
Dark daughter, what are you, are you the daughter of maya,
Are you in a form of maya-moha,
Whose maya for whom,
Who is for what,
Which is for what,
Are you my maya,
What are you?

Are you my maya,
Maya-moha,
An embodiment of,
My attachment,
My illusion, my weakness?

What are you, what are you, daughter,
My daughter,
My maya or moha,
My love and sympathy,
My emotional affection and bonding?

I know it not why am I attached to you,
Why am I related to you,
Who are you really,
Why am I?

For you, I can even pluck the stars from the heavens
And bring back to you,
For you, I can the best flowers from the wilds
Denser they may be,
My love, you do not know it, friend.

It is my daughter’s,
My daughter’s only,
Had you a daughter, you would have definitely,
But you have not!

My daughter is my own, whose pains none
But I myself know it,
Can feel it,
In my heart
So reserved for her.



30



Come And See, You Come And Go Seeing
Dark daughter, come and go seeing the Face,
The Face Divine,
Of the Goddess.

How grand She is,
The Face of Hers,
The Pitch Dark Face

Looking beautiful,
So bizarre and grotesque,
But beautiful!

O, you come and go seeing
The Face,
The Face Divine

Of Kali,
The Eternal Ma,
The Dark Goddess!

Come and go seeing
The Dark Goddess,
The Mystery Divine!

The Image Divine,
The Play of Hers,
Which but Her Lila!

The Goddess of Night,
Of Delusion and Doom,
See Her, see Her.


Dark Daughter, The Tears
Dark daughter, the tears falling from your eyes,
A trickle of the teardrops,
The world could not, could not understand it, dark daughter

The tears trickling down from the cheeks,
The world could not your pains,
The sorrows of yours

And if had it, you could have felt consoled
In the times of heartbroken moments,
Had it, sympathies could have gone to you to comfort your soul.


31



You Come And See
You come and see the replica,
The Replica Divine,
The Dark Leg of Kali,
Ankletted

Not the Bust or the Torso,
But the Ankletted Leg of Kali,
Ornamented with.



The Dark Girl
The dark girl, who is the dark girl passing through,
In such a loneliness
Of the night-time,
Who is the stranger going hurriedly,
Striding alone?

Is it night personified,
Wearing a black sari brocaded with gold
With the stars bespangled and studded,
The hair-braid too bespangled, bedecked with nightly flowers?

Under the darkness lurking around,
Shadows encircling and mysteries enveloping,
Who is going over,
Crossing the plots of land
And moving far away all alone?

Under the star-studded skies, stars bursting forth
As crackers or sprinklers,
You going, going,
And I asking,
Who are you, who are you,
The lady going,
In such a night-time
Just as a village guard asks.

The beauty and mystery of the skies,
The stars twinkling,
I could not,
The mystery of the night
And the nightly dark lady
Passing through in her own stride.
32





I Feel It Through Coincidences and Similarities
As Bihula lay you with Lakhinder before
And you praying for survival and length of life,
As Savitri lay you with the head of Satyavan
On your lap
And you letting not Yama go
And questioning his errand done,
As Trishala felt you
When Mahavira came out of the palace,
Relinquishing it all,
As Rahul and Yasodahara felt you
When Buddha left you all one midnight
While coming out of the house secretly,
As Sabya with the body of Rohit
Found you repenting at the dead of night
And Harishchandra flinching a bit not
As had to collect taxes for the head chandal
While on guard of the crematorium ghat,
As Mira felt you
In your love for the Divine
After the death of your husband.

As remorseful and repentant Shiva found you
Moving in sorrow and pain
With the body of Yours, Sati,
And the bodily parts falling down,
As Kabira, the abandoned son of the Brahmin widow,
But reared by Muslim weavers,
I saw by the ghats of Benares
Taking the Ram-nama mantra from Ramanand,
I saw you in the pain and pine of Karna,
The unrecognized son of Kunti.



Dark Daughter
Dark daughter, dark will remain dark,
And let them be so
If they are really.

I see you as the scrolls of folk art and paintings,
Terracotta temple potteries,
Sculptures and figurines;
I see you, as a little girl, singing and painting simultaneously
And the song touching me inwardly.

33



I Saw You Sad And Weeping
I saw you and weeping, with the eyes red with tears,
And the tears trickling down the cheeks,
I saw you brooding over and pensive,
Reflective and morose,
Mournful and dejected.

The tears trickling down the cheeks
And you, in tears, weeping,
The eyes red with,
Reddened and rubbed
With the palms and hands
And you trying to hide in

Hiding from the world, saw I weeping,
Sobbing and breaking down,
Bursting into tears
And sighing heavily,
Which but you could not hold in

My love, my innocent love,
My heart, my very innocent heart,
Which the cold world could not feel the things of
Your tender heart,
A flower undefiled by human touch,
You could not sense vicious world
And its high-handedness.



Dark Daughter, I Close The Eyes And Try To See In
Dark daughter, I close the eyes sometimes and try to see in,
The Dark Lady,
Her Rupa, Divine Rupa,
Grand and Dreadful,
Blackly Beautiful,
A Dark Statue of Kali,
Dark Kali, Dark Kali,
Grand and Bizarre.

I just try to close the eyes and try to see in
The Dark Lady,
Her Face,
Face Divine.

34


The Folksong You Are Singing
The folksong which sing you take me far away
And I do not know,
What it is that carries me all through,
Wherever go or remain I in vacant or pensive mood of reflection,
Tense or morose or laden,
The song, the song of yours
Takes me into its stride
And following you glide I absent-minded,
As know I not where am I going,
What am I doing,
What is it carrying me along,
Across the fields and fallows,
Taking me to my home.

But the battle-song fought or lost long ago,
The pathos of it, of life or living
Tears me apart
And I feel sad and grieved at heart
To hear of the plaintive notes
Carried by the wind
And airing me all through the ways;
I do not know,
What it is that ails you,
What the history of the native land,
Where the battles fought and lost,
Just the folksongs carry it forward and in your singing,
Hear I the plaintive notes of humanity?

The song which heard I carried some sense and meaning
With a tinge in heart
About the hardships of living in the hilly domains
Punctuated by the roars and howls
Of the dreadful wild animals
And the river-beds dotted with the paws
Of the wildly beasts and brutes,
Of human misery and hardships,
Trouble and suffering,
Hurt, wounds and scars,
Kaal coming in terms of misfortune and befalling,
Cobras hissing and tigers roaring,
Of battles fought and lost long ago
And the soldiers perished in the mission,
Of human frailty and error, lust and temptation.

35


Dark Daughter, Dark You, Dark The World And Its Ways!
Dark is beautiful, said they,
As Kali is dark,
Dark you, dark daughter,
Dark the world
You dwell in,
The ways of life.

Dark is dark
And it will remain
Unto the last,
Dark you,
Dark the world
And the ways of it.

Dark you,
But not ugly,
Dark of course,
But beautiful,
The tear-laced drops
Telling many a thing

How we are, how the things of the world,
How the ways of life,
Where have you to go,
What it in store,
Where to go to,
To which country home,
Where in search of food, clothing and shelter!

Dark daughter, dark is dark,
Let it be,
As we can never resolve them,
You too His daughter,
Pray to Him
Who has made you!






36


Sitting On The Guard Wall of The Country Home/The Song of The Dark Daughter
Sitting on the guard wall of the mud house,
What are you singing, my daughter,
Yea, sitting on the guard wall
Outside or round-about the house,
What are you, my daughter?
O, I am singing, I am singing,
Singing a song!
I know it she feels shy and will say of it so slowly.

My daughter, I too sing the song of yours,
A poor, but humble countryside girl,
Undefiled by coquetry and foppishness,
Intrigue and vicious hatching of plots,
You have a world of your own

And you go on singing, singing the song
O life and the world
In your own voice,
Untaught and unschooled
You draw the sketches and drawings on earth and walls!

Love is love, my daughter,
The innocence of it, the ignorance with which love you,
I admire it most, I appreciate it most,
So rarely found in modern man,
So rarely nurtured in countryside man.

Sorry to say, we have lost it, lost it, dark daughter,
Today wherever go you, will find the people
In the towns and villages,
Intriguing and hatching plots
Rather than good and noble from within,
Appreciative of human values

But you a little heart, a little soul
Admire I, appreciate I
As for your virtues,
For your nobility and goodness of soul,
The innocence of your heart,
Your simplicity and guilelessness.

Your song sing I, wherever go I,
You my dream and vision, image and idea,
Thought and concept, visionary glide and reflection.
37





The Song of The Dark Daughter, O, Who Is Calling Me?
The song of the dark calling me, calling me from behind
But I moving ahead, ahead,
But the dark daughter calling me, calling me it
The song of hers,
The folksong that is vibrating
And carried through to me through the wind blowing

I, moving ahead, moving on, but the song calling me,
Calling me from behind
And the girl waiting and standing at her door
For my return
And the problem lies in it that I have not trespassed the door
And the lovely daughter is calling me, calling me from behind.

I trying to move away, go on and on, but the trouble of,
How to move ahead, ignoring the rustic rhythm of life,
The heart beating in the countryside,
Into the terracotta temples of it,
The sculptures and figurines decorating the outer walls,
Embroidered with in clay or stone,
Inscribed or carved out.

My love she is calling me, calling me from behind,
Her heart forbidding me
And I, a guest, how can I move away from,
With the cloth bundle into the hands of mine,
Not with the attaché or the bag,
But with a bundle of clothes,
Move away from?

Hearing the song, the whistle and humming of it,
Across the dry river,
I can see her standing at the door,
From the other side of the river bank,
And sighting her,
I wanting to return back,
As the song calling me
And how can I hurting her poor soul,
Tender and simple heart
In this age of hooked and crooked fellows, screwed personalities,
The modern men without the hearts?



38


Dark Daughter…
Dark daughter, what have I for you,
As all my life spent in making and unmaking,
In thinking about myself,
In doing my job
And that too I had to dispense with,
But on seeing you, think I,
What have I for you?

Dark daughter, what, what have I for myself,
My family, society and country,
Which I should,
But could not do it,
As I too could not find time
And opportunities too had not been with.

Now, before I leave, I want to do something
Taking it to be as on my part,
Which but I should have,
Could not,
Now the time had come to do,
Fulfill my duty and responsibility,
I should shoulder.

Before I pass out of sight, vanish into the doom
Encircling,
The shadow and gloom,
I want to portray you again,
The agony and distress of yours,
Dismay and bewilderment of yours
And how can it be that
You on the cross-road and that too at a loss,
Brooding over human frailty and frustration.

Dark daughter, the myths of darkness, I cannot unravel it,
The myths of you,
Seated as art, artifacts and carvings,
Sculptures and figurines,
Who, who are they,
Who have brought you here and have abandoned you here?





39
Dark Daughter
Maybe it that I shall remain busy with my activities all daylong
Away from in the town,
Bound by the duty hours and the load of the office work,
Shall find the least to think of you,
In the humdrum, monotony
Which I feel often

But taking a lift from all these,
I shall try my best
To keep abreast of
What I really perceived as intrinsic beauty
A perennial source of joy,
Your images, dark images flashing over.

The tight and busy schedule giving no respite from,
The drudgery of the work inculcated in,
The fatigue and futility of,
The routined townsmanly living,
Confined to one’s own prison cell,
I could not, could not appreciate it.

And from being in the midst of all that,
Taking liberty and lift from,
I think of you, dream of you, dark daughters,
Keep track of you,
Your imagery delighting me
Even far from you.

Dark daughters, I find you sitting in the country,
Passing summer days under the shade of the peepul or banyan tree,
By the riverside under the mango trees,
On the outer temple walls during the night-time
And that too by even talking to stars and other heavenly bodies,
As yoginis wandering or lost in.








40


Your Pains And Agonies
It pains me really when see I
The gambler playing cards,
Betting and losing you too
As the final bet,
The last attempt to recover
And that too luck supports it not,
The tryst with destiny.

It pains me really when see I the drunkard
Selling you to some brothel
Or in drunkenness
And you separating from
By being into the foul hands,
Into the bad company,
But the narration of it pains me,
The poor story of your life.

For just the belly, hunger and thirst,
I see you toiling hard, languishing behind,
Sacrificing all your pleasures
And comforts seem to be not in your poor lot
As go you struggling,
Labouring hard,
Toiling and furrowing like an ox.

There was a time when typhoid used to sicken
You so miserably,
Cholera and diarrhoea
And the palanquin used to take you away to distant hospitals
From the rural countryside,
But the pregnancy hazards used to malign and maraud
The poor self and soul of yours
And you used to bear inhumanly.

Even turning stone or rock,
Gods used to view you, letting you bear,
Treating you not,
And if this be your destiny, fate or luck,
What to say it more, poor daughter,
Dark daughter?




41
Dark Daughter
Dark daughter, I have just known you,
Have tried to feel you,
Have seen and understood you to some extent
Your joys and sorrows,
The rhythm of your life,
The pulsation of your heart,
The troubles and tribulations,
The struggles, sacrifices and sufferings of yours,
The pains and pines of your aching heart,
What it ails you, sickens the soul.

You are a little girl with the innocence
And ignorance of your own,
The simplicity of heart, purity of expression,
Undefiled and guileless,
You have nothing to hide in
As for to keep latent,
But I fear,
How you will adjust here
In this world of intrigues and whisperings.

Dark daughter, men are not so simple
As think you,
Men are not so good
As look they to be,
Men are not men,
But beats and brutes of the jungles,
Full of wildest emotions and passions
And if this be, how will you live here?

Dark daughter, I saw you in the museum
Lying locked in,
I saw you on the outer walls of the temples
Under the canopies of the starry and silent skies,
Bewitching mystery and silence
As the night is not of one,
Oh, as the maidens of the night,
Straying and wandering and that too all alone
And silence conspiring against!


42



Submitted: Monday, August 12, 2013
Edited: Monday, August 12, 2013

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