Sunday, 12 May 2013

By the Banks of the Alaknanda-A Poem

Sitting by the banks of the Alaknanda,
I hear the murmur of the river which greets me in the morn.
The white tips of the waters froth when they meet an obstacle.
White sand lies strewn on the banks across,
White boulders big and small greet the eye,
A cricket sounds nearby, while a sparrow sings its song.
The mountains silent, watch from both sides as the day grows.

As waves continue to chase each other,
The voice of the river tells me of the great deeds of the gods
And great men long past, whose souls now flow in the waters
Of the Alaknanda, straight from the glaciers from high in the
Mountains. A mass of water moving with a single purpose to meet
A common goal. As the morning sun breaks out, the magic begins to
Change to the mundane but the voices continue to sing.

The river murmurs, the sound of a thousand voices.
Old men and young men tell of wise sayings of life long past-
Of the lives of ascetics and the lives of kings. A singular voice to
Remind the listener of the one who freed the villages of the Marauding
Snatcher of men, the man-eater of Rudra Prayag, his message of
Conserving and respecting Nature. I drink in a divine cocktail of
The spiritual and the real, a drink that runs frothing down the slope.
A great river flowing with a single purpose-to  of  a life long past!

The murmur of the river greets me as it cuts through the Boulders
And rocks, grinding the proud and the strong into small small pebbles,
With a deceptively gentle touch. For what gentleness does, can harshness
Match? So has the Alaknanda cut into to the most stubborn and proud
Of mountains, cutting a path so deep as she rushes to meet her sister,
Bhagirathi. While Bhagirathi is younger and more wild, the Alaknanda
Is more sedate and mature! And so she flows, the great Alaknanda-daughter
Of the ancient  glaciers, home of the mighty deities.

Away in the distance lying on the dry white sand see I forlorn remains
Of once mighty trees that stood so strong, proud and great as they challenged
Sky and Earth, now reduced to massive logs broken into bits by the mighty
Alaknanda. Their pride long lost, but massive still in girth- testimony of what
Happens to those with a bloated pride. The ground round rocks-poor comfort
Give, as they  weep of what they were and what they are!
All as the mighty Alaknanda rivers murmurs past  as I sit on a rock.

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