Having sprinkled some holy water
over the head of the tramp
of the three worlds
Gowri took Shiva to his bath.
Seating the three-eyed one
lovingly on a tripod,
seemingly concerned at his fatigue
at having travelled the three worlds,
she flicked off a speck of dust.
Holding back her grief,
although she knew the street
and the house from which the dust had come,
she took Nataraja to his bath.
“How was the chase?” she asked pointedly.
“Here, a pot of water for Ganga’s birth,
Here, one for the Manikarnika pool,
A pot each for every one of the rivers
you have been in, and here, the last one,
filled with my perennial rage. . . .”
When a teardropp fell
to mix with water making it boiling hot,
Shiva cried out, breaking into a sweat,
“What do you think I am?
When you aren’t there, I’m a monk, remember,”
“Where do I figure in your list of girls,
O God, to hear this?” she asked and pinched him
gently, washing him.
Scrubbing the monk’s body of ash,
she looked at him. Gently rubbing him dry,
she offered him the cushion of her thighs
and whispered an appeal. “O my Shiva,
recall all the rivers you have known
and sleep, my lord.”
Under the silken words
the hunter’s heart,
having conquered the world’s poison,
was like a light pleasure-boat,
and the boat took him away,
far far away, from Gowri.
It was nothing new, this marvel
of Shiva being there
and not being there.
She sat without fretting, controlling
her anguish. Though tender,
our Gowri is a proud, proud girl.
When Ishwara the monk comes back
from his wanderings,
Gowri calls him for his bath.
Rubbing his body with medicinal oil
and washing the evil eyes that have fallen upon him
she gives the fever-wracked tramp
a decoction of kiratha twigs.
[From: Bindu Bindige
Publisher: Akshara Prakashana, Sagar, 1990]
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.I would like to translate this poem