Friday, 24 February 2017

To the Maiden from Satna

-Brian Mendonca

And you night-woman
with the faraway eyes
bedecked in bangles
Why do you scoop your belongings
into a small travel bag
carefully folding
your black shawl?
Are you fleeing
from, or to, love
in such precocious haste?
You keep the vrat of Shiva
obeisance to the Destroyer
Life or Death
-what have you decreed today?
as you stretch yourself
on the berth besides mine.

(Mahashivratri 2007
Enroute 2190 Nizamuddin-Jabalpur Mahakoshal Express)

I travelled on the 2190 Mahakoshal Express from Delhi to Jabalpur, taking advantage of the Mahashivratri weekend in 2007. Since today is also Mahashivratri, my mind went back to my journey 10 years back and I decided to upload the poem on my blog. The poem appears in my self-published volume of poems A Peace of India: Poems in Transit (Delhi, 2011)

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