Betrayal - Of Faith Or Of Nature Poem by Om Chawla

Betrayal - Of Faith Or Of Nature

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Holy river and holier places
Centers of pilgrimages
Of devout devotees through the ages

For years beyond count millions came
Trekking the treacherous terrains
Seeking blessings of God's incarnates
Praying for desires fulfillment
Seeking their sins atonement
Or mitigation of some ailment
They came trekking arduous climbs
To pay obeisance and seek blessings.

These hills that were once attired
With abundant greenery and seasonal flowers
Lie denuded and are so barren
Strewn with multitude of silvery network
Of metaled motorways and stony structures
Instead of fragrance of plants and flowers
Smell of smoke invades our senses
Is it greedy commercialization
Or simply the pressure of teeming millions?

Howsoever the mountains lie denuded
Brittle structures of stone and dust
Battered by pounding of millions of footsteps
Earth beneath the pathways crumbling
From beneath the structures crumpling

Then one night Nature decided
To halt this greedy demeaning of nature
A cloud burst open pouring water
A sea of water, dismembering the mountain
Tearing to smithereens
Flowing down the rocky slopes
Even faster than the water might flow
Sweeping swallowing and burying
All that came in its way while onward marching
Pilgrims, devotees and all the seekers
Could not escape the riotous fury
Of angry stream of stones and water
Thousands perished, swallowed or were buried
The vale turned into a mound of slush
Unmarked grave to the untraced hundreds.

Why and wherefore this unimagined tragedy
Betrayal of faith at the doorsteps
of holiest of shrines,
Or indiscriminate tinkering of nature
There is no answer.

Can shattered faith our lives sustain
For howsoever reason may govern us
It is hope and faith that sustains
In trying times.

This poem is about the tragedy that struck Kedarnath Temple in the shape of cloud burst on 16th of June,2013 and the resultant destruction.
Elena Sandu 26 August 2013

I don't use to read or watch the news much lately, I see you describe a great tragedy here. Devastating to hear of loss of life. I do feel that lately, nature tries to prevent us, yes in the last 100 years greed have damaged our world, all creatures, humans animals and plants all together... It feels as we are sitting at the edge of a bomb ready to explore. If all people (99%) would not stand up holding each other's hands for our born right to be kind and loving to each other with no forcefully installed manipulating fears, if we don't break away from the chains of goods and money that are tighted more and more each day we may lose our chance. Earth may die before our grand kids will be born...Famine, draught, will destroy all forms of life... Maybe now is the time for a new era Love-ism We need to invent a new way of living for each creature of this world, human animal or plant to live in harmonious peace... I believe the ones that betrays are us, the nature was extremely patient with us.

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Nasarudheen Parameswaran 27 August 2013

Very nice narration andcritique.Actually Bhagavat Gita 18: 61 and 66 will give hope and consolation.Bita 9: 11 to suppliment your argument, sir. I love your poem.

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Valsa George 27 August 2013

Many of the quiet and serene places of worship are tuned into business centres to extract money from the devotees. Besides the people who visit these places have multiplied manifold, destroying the pristine beauty and holy ambience! What ever it be, Nature wreaks vengeance on being trampled recklessly by her inhabitants. When greed over rides all other concerns, even gods become intolerant. But no doubt, Hope and Faith sustain us in trying situations. An excellent write, Sir!

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Patricia Grantham 28 August 2013

An excellent write on the forces of nature. We have to live in harmony with nature and enjoy its beautiful and lush greenery. The advancement of civilization continues to get in the way. New high rise buildings, fancy roads and bridges. Nature gets frustrated and turns its back then gives us a full force of its fury in landslides, overflowing rivers and drought. Even the places of worship are surrounded by the hustle and bustle of city life. Still we should not lose hope for better. An inspiring write indeed.

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Yash Shinde 30 March 2014

a great poem, with vivid imagery and deep message, nature has'nt betrayed us, but returned to us what we gave, ......a beautiful poem, sir

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Om Chawla 18 September 2013

Dear Dinesh, I do agree with you. Practice of Faith is riddled with irrational rituals, which are sometimes abhorrent and degenerate into moral turpitude. However unexplained nature of Natural Phenomena and metaphysical aspects of life contain the seeds of awe inspiring belief in supernatural power and cosequent birth of Faith. Even in the society [Soviet Russia- post Oct.1917 revolution] which could have inculcated rationality in the social system failed. There seems no escape from it. And can we ever know how many civilizations, at various stages of development in this Cosmos, may be facing or living through this dilemma. You have written that some alien may write the truth of human folly some day. It is also likely some human some day may write similarly about some alien planet's fate. That is also in the realm of possibility. If Faith is holding both our hands, other civilizations may or might be in similar predicament, because the riddle of Cosmic phenomena would be beyond resolution for those civilizations as well.

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Dinesan Madathil 05 September 2013

Nature and faith have diametrically polar connotations. At the beginning of human civilization to correct and guide the man in transition, faith was required. But we could have dropped at a later stage like steam engine has been replaced by the electric engine to run the train. Faith alone, one may observe, has gone to mad dimensions of display and disaster and with ever growing concerns of an absolutely unrelated moral turpitude many have stood for faith as a corrective cult. The truth of human folly will be one day written by an alien writing the bibliography of green planet where man`s dismal existence has depleted a living order. Thank you sir for your rendering and had you been fine in health a couple of months ago, this would have been written on time. What is striking is a senior citizen`s agony displayed and time alone can tell what we are all heading for with this faith holding our both the hands.

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Neela Nath Das 30 August 2013

Very true.Nature pays back in such a way.We must be aware of Environment.Relevant write!

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Kavya . 29 August 2013

a very nice poem on the recent disaster that struck Kedarnath..........u r rite in saying that wen we harass Nature, it starts hitting back on us..........a gud write indeed

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