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Sep 2012
a princess sits in her royal lounge
troubled at mind, restless of heart
trembling limbs and parched tongue
the rivers in her eyes betray
the sorrow that drowns her soul
with shaking fingers she struggles
for a firm grip on her quill
her heart pours out in fluid words
to express a love nursed for years

“My Lord, from childhood I have heard
of your courageous acts and kind character
of your handsomeness and perfectness
and I am unable to draw my mind away
from thoughts of you and yours
I am shamelessly besotted by you
Like a sunflower that is drawn to the sun
I am drawn to you
It is against the common notion
for a woman to ask a man
to take her hand in marriage
I break every tradition,
but Mukunda, answer my question-
which woman, high-born
and well-versed in all the arts,
will not wish to be your consort-
and besides I have already considered myself
wedded to you, in thought and spirit
is it not immoral then
when I consider myself a married woman
and when I am already yours
body, mind and soul,
to allow me another marriage?
My brother Rukmi has arranged
a marriage for me, and it is in the morrow
my heart sinks in sorrow
you are my saviour-
it behooves you to come
and claim what is yours
and how to accomplish it without needless bloodshed
need not cause you worry, for I have a plan
tomorrow morning I shall go for my pre-nuptial prayer
at the temple in the outskirts
away from curious eyes
and it is from there
that you can take me
please do come Krishna and save me
from this mockery of a marriage
I have already said that I am yours
and if you do not come, I shall
with no second thought ensure
that I am no longer alive
to be the object of another man’s desire
and if not in this birth, we shall
in another birth be man and wife”


she seals the letter with  burning tears
and entrusts in a priest’s willing hands to deliver
this receptacle of her hopes and fears
a sliver of hope begins to glimmer
as exhaustion finally takes over
and sleep beckons with gentle hands
to distant happier lands

In the morning she awakes
mind no more clouded or deluded
a faith unshaken that strengthens
as her messenger arrives
bearing happy news
her heart gladdens

Krishna will come – of that she is sure
a love denied will now be hers
the blush of excitement gives way
to shyness - kept so far at bay
the letter was written boldly enough
but now her maiden coyness asserts its sway
with eager pulsing heart she awaits
the moment of freedom and fastening
with her love – it seems too long a day!

In her best finery she is bedecked
a bride blossoming like a flower
eyes shining like diamonds
in their excitement
nocturnal hair that falls to her waist
in a tidy plait
lips tinged with a secret smile
an accompaniment to her glowing face
her blush spreads
like a rose amongst jasmines

with slow sure steps
and comely gait
eyes glistening with hope
and conviction strengthened with faith
she proceeds towards the temple
with sincere emotion she prays

“Devi Parvati, with your motherly grace
look upon me with your kind gaze
as once through penance you gained
your true love as a husband
I too embark today
on a quest to find my way
to him who is my very soul- I pray
let Krishna me my husband”


As every minute passes hope grows
and then she hears his majestic roar
like  a dark thunder-cloud he appears
his turmeric vestment blowing in the wind
and like lighting in the night sky
suddenly and nimbly he hoists her
onto his chariot and they are away

and then the powerful anticipation of this moment gave way
to its pure enjoyment, the company of the loved one

and thus it was that the unflinching Rukmini
wedded Krishna one day.

- Vijayalakshmi Harish
        10.9.2012

Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
Vijayalakshmi Harish
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