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13.6k · Jun 2013
Monsoon Nights
my dreams are
the texture of the earth
softened by the monsoon
a clairvoyant fragrance rises
from the green sprouts
pushing their way through-out
and through-in
my rain-coloured mental canvas
a cool drop snakes down
my ready spine
i’m dissolved
in the frissons that ensue
even as your warmth
embraces me
every numbing night
the winds detach the flowers
from every mourning tree
and i give you myself
as you rain on me
incessantly

- Vijayalakshmi Harish
   13.06.2013
   Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
10.7k · Sep 2012
Abhimanyu Avenged!
the loss of a child is truly great
it leaves strong men weakened
no wonder then that for Arjuna
it felt like the earth had shaken
and shifted from its axis
leaving his world broken
he forgets that he is the Great Warrior
in this moment he is a father

should he be heartbroken
as his son is dead?
or rejoice
as he died a hero’s death?
or anger
at its unfairness?

in a momentary madness he rages,
“who dared to hurt my darling boy?
who dared my Gandiva defy?
and how was it that he fell alone
weren’t any of you close by?”


under his fierce gaze Yudhisthira trembles
“I’m sorry my brother, I feel your pain,
Abhimanyu was our son too,
foolishly we sent him to his death
that guilt will plague us to our dying day,
but know this-
we tried to protect him
like an egg protects a yolk
we had him surrounded

but fate had other games to play
Jayadratha, King of Sindhu
was our opponent that day,
he played his trump card-
the boon he received from Mahadeva which states
that he shall be able to defy our combined might
on a day that yourself and Keshava are away

against destiny who has a say
he held us prisoner in a duel
and let Abhimanyu escape
deeper and deeper into the cruel clutches
of the Chakravyuha he strayed
the price for our foolishness, with his blood he paid”


Arjuna’s anger now had a target
Jayadratha would his mistake regret
The wielder of the Gandiva makes
A terrifying promise –
“If by sunset tomorrow
Jayadratha’s head does not lay
bleeding in the earth’s embrace
then I shall immolate
myself in the fiery blaze
my name shall be stained with eternal shame”


“why such harsh words, Partha?”, asks Krishna,
“why take such a hasty oath,
what if you fail? Abhimanyu is gone
but there are others
whose dependence upon you is just as it was”


“But Keshava”, Arjuna retorts,
“it was you who had a complaint,
that my arrows had no fire,
that my fighting was spiritless
that I was shirking the Dharma of a warrior,
so now that the flames of passion
are fuelled by my loss
why do you tell me dampen
my vengeance, and besides
with you as my charioteer,
friend and guide,
I am assured
That success will be mine”


“So be it Partha,
It may be that destiny has decreed
that you are Jayadratha’s nemesis,
but be aware, that it will not be easy
our enemies will seize upon this opportunity
to shame you and rid themselves of you
Jayadratha will be well guarded
and if we get past the Kaurava army
to Jayadratha, you must employ
the Pasupatastra-that mighty weapon
gifted to you by Mahadeva himself”


this decision made, they await
the fourteenth day
in the Pandava camp there is anticipation
in the Kaurava camp fear, and anxious preparation
Jayadratha in mortal terror,
would rather the battlefield avoid,
and turn his back and be called a coward
than face Arjuna’s undefeatable missiles
but under Drona’s advice and assurance
he fearfully stays

The fourteenth day dawns
even the Sun God seems excited
he wishes he could stay and watch
the outcome of the fight this day
but the sun cannot stop
it must do its duty
just like the warriors  on the battlefield today

soldiers wither as Arjuna’s wrath
falls as bolts of lighning
assisted by the brave Satyaki
five akshauhinis are decimated
but within a triple vyuha
Jayadratha is still safe
waves and waves of warriors come
and to Yamaloka dispatched
but Jayadratha is not yet encountered
and the sun is low upon the horizon

Fatigue overtakes the battlefield
and the end seems near
in a few minutes the sun will have set-
for the Kaurava’s a welcome relief,
for the Pandava’s their greatest fear!
now Arjuna seems to panic
now he gives in to despair
wishing he could hold back the sun
just till he can exact his revenge!

Krishna realizes his Partha’s  plight
for the sake of justice he must act
with clever insight
this embodiment of the divine
eclipses the sun
behind Narayana’s discus
it is hidden

the world believes
that the sun has set
the mighty Arjuna has fallen!
The Kuarava’s scream in delight,
The Pandava’s crestfallen
Arjuna hangs his head in desperation
he has been unable to fulfill his oath
unable to avenge Abhimanyu’s death

from hiding Jayadratha emerges
cowardly rat now seemingly a lion
“Arjuna, fulfill your promise”, he jeers
“let us see you get on the pyre,
foolish warrior that you are
you dared to clash with
the Kaurava might
now see where your stupidity
has led you, like son like father!”


the entire Kaurava host laughs
overjoyed at seeing Arjuna lost
the greatest of their enemies
will now commit suicide
forever this humiliation
will haunt his brothers
and they shall lose faith
drop down their weapons in
futility and depression
and the war shall be won!

as they rejoice in their ignorance
Krishna intervenes,
suddenly the sun comes out again
bright and shining, as if to say,
“Arjuna is not defeaten!”

Now the tables are turned-
The Kaurava army falls in disarray
in the Pandava camp loud hurrays!
Conches are blown and the fighting resumes
For the second time that day
Jayadratha out in the open feels
The presence of Yama
And Arjuna, his spirits reawakened
looks like a fiery tower
his eyes blazing coals

Krishna speaks: “Quick Arjuna! Do not hesitate
a moment longer,
dispatch your Pasupata with haste,
but remember Jayadratha’s other boon-
the one given to him by his father
that the one who makes his head roll,
will have his own burst into a thousand pieces”


Arjuna obeying stretches his bowstring
The Pasupata is loaded,
a short prayer to Mahadeva said,
the arrow becomes the messenger of death
severing Jayadratha’s head off his shoulder
an expression of shock-the last look on his face
for a moment his body stands
and then falls with a thud to the ground

the Pasupata carries the head afar,
outside the battlefield and deposits
it in the lap of Jayadratha’s father
who seeing the  disembodied head his son
lets its fall on the ground in shock and awe
and instantly in fulfillment of the boon he gave
his head explodes into a thousand fragments

the Sun God bids adieu
now the day is done

the oath is fulfilled,
Arjuna still lives,
The Kauravas are filled with dread
for they know that Arjuna will not cease
his anger will not be appeased
with only the death of Jayadratha
he will now be a fiercer
and a stronger foe

On the Pandava side
Victory drums beat
Abhimanyu has been avenged!

- Vijayalakshmi Harish
19.09.2012
Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
Gandiva : Arjuna's divine bow
Mahadeva: Lord Shiva
Keshava: Another name for Krishna
Partha : Another name for Arjuna
Pasupatastra: A weapon gifted to Arjuna by Lord Shiva
Akshauhini: Ancient battle unit consisting of 21,870 chariots (Sanskrit ratha); 21,870 elephants; 65,610 cavalry and 109,350 infantry.
vyuha:battle formation
Yamaloka: the realm of Yama, the God of Death/The Underworld
Narayana : Lord Vishnu

Jayadratha: Once while trying to abduct Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas, Jayadratha was humiliated by the Pandavas. In order to avenge his humiliation, he underwent rigourous penance to please Lord Shiva from whom he received a boon that he could hold all the Pandavas at bay for one day when Arjuna and Lord Krishna were not around. He used that boon on the day Abhimanyu was to enter the Chakravyuha, thereby preventing the Pandava brothers from protecting Abhimanyu. He was thus the root cause of Abhimanyu's death.
Jayadratha also had another boon from his father, i.e; who ever caused the head of Jayadratha to fall on the ground, will be killed immediately by having his own head burst into 1000 pieces.
8.5k · Sep 2012
The Fall of Abhimanyu
~~~                                              The thirteenth day at Kurukshetra
                                                     ­   verily an unfortunate day
                                                      for this is the day a hero falls
                                               the likes of which were never seen again

there he stands on his chariot                                                          ­          but his face is clouded with worry
his armour shooting arrows of  light                                                        ­         mind disturbed by confusion
truly he looks like the son                                                              ­             a David among Goliaths he stands
of the king of the night                                                            ­    a mammoth task on his youthful shoulders
                                                his uncle, the king must be protected
                                                       ­      his father is away
                                             the enemy has planned a tricky strategy
                                   a war formation-which only he knows how to break

                                          The Chakravyuha or Padmavyuha as it is called
                                            in the shape of a circular lotus it is arranged
                                                 a deadly trap like a venus fly-catcher
                                                  dea­th is certain for those who enter
“I know how to enter, he laments                                                          ­      but my lovely mother fell asleep
but of how to escape it  I am unaware                                                      unin­terested in the skills of warfare
my father taught it to my mother                                                           ­             so I learnt only how to enter
when I was in her womb                                                    and of knowledge of the exit I was deprived”

                                                  “Go­ forth bravely”, his uncle says,
                                                          w­e’ll follow you closely
                                                       no one can harm even a hair
                                                    on your head while we are there

                                                          ­  and so Abhimanyu enters
                                                          ­    a hero-true to his name
                                                            ­ with courage in his heart
                                                         and the Lord’s name on his lips
he prays, ‘let me make my father proud today”                                              so rapidly do his arrows fly
like a lion he is fierce, like an eagle swift                                              that they remain unseen to the eye
ten thousand soldiers fall                                                             ­                          only their stabbing tip is felt
under his wrathful gaze                                                             ­             before the receivers keel over and die
                                                             ­   the brave warrior forges on
                                                              ­    unaware of the goings on
                                                        his uncles have been trapped behind
                                                          ­  he’s alone behind the enemy line

                                                           ­      when he realizes the danger        
                                                                ­            its far too late      
                                                            a true warrior does not his fate berate
                                                          ­        bravely onwards he wanders
finding chinks in the enemy’s armour                                                         but treachery raises its ugly head
he is Yama himself incarnate                                                        ­                               alone he battles a crowd
into every heart he strikes a mindless fear                           Karna, Drona, Vrshasena, Salya, Durmashana
claiming lives as he plans an escape                        Duryodhana, Dussasana, Lakshmana, Aswathhaman
                                                           and Kritavarman all surround
                                                        ­scavengers against this lonely lion
                                                         Karna does his bowstrings break
                                                     and Kritavarman leaves him chariotless

                                                    ­           multiple arrows upon him rain
                                                            ­    he is now grievously wounded
                                                         ­          yet unnerved and undaunted
                                                       ­      he rises with sword and shield in hand
he challenges his attackers thus,                                                          come one by one and I shall be glad
“O mighty warriors, this cowardly act                                                              ­       to give you a good fight
does not your stature befit, the laws of war                                        and in this fair combat befitting kings
do not prescribe for many to stand against one                                                        may the best man win”

                                                           ­  but his plea for fairness went unheard
                                                   Karna breaks his shield and Drona cuts his sword
                                                           ­      unarmed and bleeding he employs
                                                         ­       his chariot wheel as a final defense

                                                        ­             but corruption is a cruel master
                                                          ­        that ruled the minds of his attackers
                                                       ­                       together in all injustice
                                                       ­     they smash  the chariot wheel to smithereens
they laugh their wicked laughs                                                           ­        with deceitful swords he is felled
and rejoice at Abhimanyu’s helplessness                                                     ­  but even in death he is dignified
to his honour and their ignominy                                              his only regret is that he shall not live to see
with ruthlessness they strike                                                           ­               his queen, Uttara and his child  
                                                         ­    but as he thinks of his father
                                                          ­    his heart is filled with pride
                                                     “look father”, he screams to the skies
                                                        “y­our son has died a hero’s death”

                                       “against many Maharathis  he has stood his ground
                                               and fulfilled his dharma - he hopes you are proud
                                                          h­is last wish is that you should avenge
                                                   the treason that has driven him to this end”

with these last words                                                            ­                  poor Abhimanyu - his words echoed
he leaves this world                                                            ­                              filling the battlefield with dread
the villains around him dance                                                            ­        his uncles hear his bellowing roars
in a shameful victory celebration                                                      ­      and know that their beloved is dead
                                                       with their mind-numbing sorrow
                                                         comes their unquenchable fear
                                                       how will they let their brother know
                                                          th­at he must light his son’s pyre

                                                           with bloodshot eyes they swear
                                                       that his noble death will be avenged
                                                         and then they fall deeper in sorrow
                                                          ­as the sun sets upon their beloved
his blood mixes with the earth                                                            ­              his death shall be a reminder
as the Gods rain praises above him                                                             that honour comes not with age
“here lies a true champion                                                     but by one’s actions is one’s worth determined
unbeaten and courageous                                                       ­           ascend Abhimanyu to the heavens!”

                                                    Th­e thirteenth day at Kurukshetra
                                                     ­        verily an unfortunate day
                                                            f­or this is the day a hero fell
                                                   the likes of which were never seen again
- Vijayalakshmi Harish
   16.09.2012

Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
In the Indian epic Mahabharata, Abhimanyu is the son of the Pandava Arjuna and Subhadra the sister of Lord Krishna. He is thus the nephew of the other four Pandava brothers. Since Karna is also a son of Kunti, he also was a nephew to Karna, one of his murderers. Though Abhimanyu and the other Pandavas were unaware of this fact, Karna was cognizant of the relationship, which is what makes the killing of Abhimanyu a particularly heinous crime.  
He is husband to the Matsya kingdom's princess, Uttarā, who was pregnant with his child Parikshikt at the time of his death.
Abhimanyu is also said to be an incarnation of Varchas, the son of the Moon God.
The Mahabharata records that Karna was instrumental in the killing of Abhimanyu. Karna asks Drona how Abhimanyu can be killed to which Drona replies : "Abhimanyu is young, his prowess is great. His coat of mail is impenetrable. This one's father had been taught by me the method of wearing defensive armour. This subjugator of hostile towns assuredly knoweth the entire science (of wearing armour). With shafts well shot, you can, however, cut off his bow, bow-string, the reins of his steeds, the steeds themselves, and two Parshni charioteers. O mighty bowman, O son of Radha, if competent, do this. Making him turn back from the fight (by this means), strike him then. With his bow in hand he is incapable of being vanquished by the very gods and the Asuras together. If you wish, deprive him of his car, and divest him of his bow".
Abhimanyu was 16 years old at the time of his death. The name Abhimanyu is a Sanskrit word meaning "heroic".
7.8k · Sep 2012
Krishna dazzles his mother
a miracle child
born to a mortal mother
the creator pretends
to be the created


stealing butter,
breaking pots,
teasing girls,
Gokulam’s naughtiest child

and then one day
the friends complain
“Mother Yashoda, your little one
is eating mud from the Yamuna banks”

worried she rushes
to her darling boy
her anxiety disguised as anger
he smiles - the sly little blue-eyed boy

in his musical voice he cries-
“I did not eat mud, sweet mother, the boys lie!
come look within
and see with your own eyes!”



poor Mother Yashoda
not knowing she stared
into that little mouth
and lost herself in what was there

he lifted swiftly the
veil of maaya
the truth shone forth
with a blinding light!

                                                  * त्वमेव माता च पिता त्वमेव ।
                                                   त्वमेव बन्धुश्च सखा त्वमेव ।
                                                   त्वमेव विद्या द्रविणम् त्वमेव ।
                                                   त्वमेव सर्वम् मम देव देव ॥


she saw herself
and her dear little boy
the whole of Gokulam
within his jaws lay!

and the whole earth
and the universe
galaxies and multiple worlds
was her little boy cursed?

her fear mounted as she saw
the entire cosmos
the boundaries blurred
time - a non-entity

the past, present and future
only a tiny river
she saw the vast expanse
of his creation

he made these worlds
held them like puppets on a string
and then morphing
he became death!

and unable to take more
she swooned
when the Creator, the Preserver and the Destroyer
merged to become-her adored little one!

                                                    
You are my mother, and my father
                                                     You are my relative and my friend
                                                     You are knowledge, You are prosperity
                                                     You are my everything, My God of Gods*


and then he looked at her
with an infinite compassion
he’d shown her
what she needed to see

now it was time
for her to forget, to become
his doting mother again
he kisses her with innocent love and toothy grin

once more
maaya takes hold
the illusion more beautiful
more irresistible to behold!

- Vijayalakshmi Harish
         04.09.2012

Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
This poem describes an incident from Lord Krishna's life when he was a child. His friends complain to his mother Yashoda, that he has been eating mud. When she looks into his mouth he reveals his divinity for a short while, before becoming her baby again.
6.9k · Sep 2012
Rukmini weds Krishna
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
5.8k · Sep 2012
Pearls or Sand?
A seashell
within a seashell
within a seashell
maybe i’m the pearl,
maybe i’m the grain of sand
how would you know
what i am?

layers upon layers
of calcified shine
years upon years
of soaking in the brine

till the scent of the sea
is in my blood
and the song of the whales
is my voice

hold me close to your ear
listen to me sometime
i’ll whisper to you secrets
in oceany rhyme

and if you feel my gentle heat
radiating in your palm
know that it is me
telling you who i am

-Vijayalakshmi Harish
17.09.2012

Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
random nonsense inspired by my cover photo...
5.4k · Aug 2012
Camera
The camera captures
your smile, your laughter, your posture

but it can't catch what I catch
when i'm with you
the warmth in your smile
the joy in your laughter and the comfort
that you give me when you stand with me
- Vijayalakshmi Harish
03/08/2012

Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
5.4k · Aug 2012
Lady Macbeth
Familiar voices blur
and dissolve
In the cauldron of time.
Distant and Distorted
the fumes rise
and metamorphose into
Animals with Masks.
Pull them off! Rip them!
Expose their naked monstrous faces
They run for cover.
One old witch
predicts success
Another fame
And a third- fortune

I lose myself
in the past and the future;
the present- a suspended moment
That does not exist.

- Vijayalakshmi Harish
Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
Life gets better - so much better that
you wouldn’t believe me if I told you
but before that happens
you’ll learn some lessons
some of them will be fun
others bitter medicine
swallow them though
they’ll make you strong

don’t beat yourself up so much
don’t put yourself down
you are actually pretty awesome
don’t obsess so much about being the best
the less you do that the better you’ll become
there is no such thing as “perfect”
but you will be excellent
you’ll be quite an overachiever – even when you don’t try!
You already know what you want to do
Not many 15 year olds have that kind of clarity!
You’re a rare, unique one – you’ll do exactly what you dream to do.

But there will be speed bumps
You’ll lose your way sometimes
and confused Gemini that you are-
you’ll always want both sides of everything
but you’ll figure that out eventually

you will never be as thin as you want to be
but you’ll learn to appreciate your body
just as it is
you’ll find you look beautiful when you smile

you’ll have a job you hate, and one that you love
you’ll do well in both-
much to other people’s envy
you’ll mostly have good bosses

you’ll never have a boyfriend, your marriage will be arranged
but you will find love-the love of a good man
who will stand by you even when things go wrong
he won’t at all be like the man of your dreams
but he will be exactly what you need-he’ll make you happy!

what I’m trying to tell you darling-
is that in ten years all the stuff you’re worrying about won’t matter
you’ll find new things to fuss over.
High school will be a distant land
That you would have left behind
The bullies who trouble you now
won’t be anywhere near

you’ll see that its okay
to be an introvert in an extraverted world
you’ll make a handful of super-friends
who you can trust and who care
and many acquaintances who don’t mind your company
but there will be some who you can’t trust
some who will take advantage of your kindness
ignore them and move on
there is more important stuff to take care of!

your writing will get better; you’ll be a super cook,
you’ll never like sports-stop trying to
its just not you!

in a few years time
you’ll be touching lives
and changing them for the better
you’ll be a teacher and a student
all at once
you’ll inspire and influence

so don’t give up on life yet-
don’t be so depressed
wear a smile and face the world
your life is going to be all set!

- Vijayalakshmi Harish
08.09.2012
Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
4.9k · Sep 2012
The Accidental Polyandrist
Destiny’s games are stranger than
most games invented by man
and Draupadi’s swayamvara is for sure
amongst the strangest tales ever told

A truly blazing beauty is she,
a princess like no other
a rare fiery spirit has she
This daughter of Agni

The drums announce the happy news
today she shall choose
from amongst this gathering of kings
the one who she shall espouse

a prophecy has already foretold
that she is to be Arjuna’s bride
the swayamvara is but a test to tempt
that expert archer out from where he hides

every king from every land
is here to attempt
to win her hand
but no sign of the one she wants

but the contest has been announced
and hence must be begun
a test truly fit to try
the Gods themselves

on the ceiling
a revolving platform
on the platform
a jewel studded fish

on the floor a vat of oil
lying beside a great bow and shafts
the fish is mirrored
in the oil

the the target lies
in the fish’s ruby red eye
but a challenge fit for kings
cannot be so trouble-free!

The eye, itself, must not be looked upon
its reflection in the oil is the map to strike
not an easy feat to accomplish
only the best dare try this

for the failures
there is ridicule and humiliation
for the winner
this beautiful handmaiden

every eye that sees
looks on amazed
at her -a rare jewel
with some secret fire set ablaze

her eyes hot embers
her hair wisps of flame
Krishnaa-the dark skinned
like the fiery coal that is by ashes hid

in every heart she rouses
an uncontrollable passion
stunned, they stand as statues
incapable of any action

the desire to win her
is a great motivator
and while all try
none seems worthy

every king that rises
falls unable to bear
the weight of the bow
let alone string and employ it!

then rises Karna
truly a great archer
surely he will win her
says everyone in their mind

but before he even touches
the bow he is stopped
by the beautiful Draupadi
he is humiliated

“who is this false king
who dares to assume that
the high-born Draupadi will condescend
to marry a low-born sutaputra?”


silenced and insulted
Karna resumes his seat
but a desire for retribution
is in his mind-a tiny seed

the one who rises next
is clothed as a Brahmin
but his proud gait and muscled arms
are that of a Kshatriya

respectfully he picks up the bow
strings it with love
with arms upraised and face turned below
he launches the arrow

it strikes the eye
which falls to the ground
the Brahmin has won!
he is garlanded by Draupadi

their eyes meet
in silent acceptance of
their magnetic attraction
a scorching passion

a stunned silence in the hall
and then hell breaks loose
kings rant and princes protest
how can a princess marry a priest

they rise together
up in arms
and are routed
by the Brahmin and his brothers

with the Brahmins Draupadi goes
to their hut-a humble abode
with folded hands they stand outside
as the eldest calls, “Look mother, see what we’ve got!”

a gentle voice replies from within
“whatever be it, share it
amongst yourselves,
it equally belongs to all of you”


“Mother, what have you said
what a dilemma we are in
you-we have never disobeyed
and yet to obey would be a sin!”


The mother comes out and is aghast
at what she has done
her order once given cannot be revoked
by convention

in the midst of all this
turmoil and confusion
Krishna arrives
with his beatific smile

“Dear aunt, I am your brother’s son
your troubled brow betrays
some confusion
can this child offer you some consolation?”


“God bless you my child
I’ve heard your praise
You are wise, so advise
how this quandary can be resolved


with hasty words
i have told my sons
to share this woman
and doomed her to a life of debauchery”


“Do not worry aunt
this isn’t a problem at all
this woman in her past life
has gained a boon of five husbands


the boon was given
by Mahadeva himself
and besides a mother’s order
is always supreme


let all five of your sons
wed Draupadi
in the karmic logic
it isn’t an iniquity


Dear Draupadi listen
these men are none other
than the valourous Pandava brothers
your hand was won by Arjuna

it is your destiny
to be the spouse of all of them
and do not worry
worldly laws are not here applicable”


Hearing this was
a stealthy listener-
Draupadi’s brother
now both overjoyed and dismayed

in confusion
he approaches his father
and apprises him
of the matter

both father and son are
unsure whether to rejoice
that the Pandavas are alive
or curse their loved one’s predicament

plagued by mixed emotions
they are restless
then Vyaasa comes
to their relief

the kind sage shares his wisdom
that the marriage is inevitable
part of the Grand Plan
mortal laws must not interfere

a woman having
more than one man as spouse
isn’t always an immorality
they may fearlessly proceed

and so it is
that the marriage was celebrated
Draupadi became the
accidental polyandrist!

-Vijayalakshmi Harish
23.09.2012

Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
Swayamvara: literally “self-marriage”. An ancient custom in which princesses chose their husband, usually through some contest.

Agni: The God of fire. Draupadi is said to have been “gifted” to King Drupada by the God of Fire.  Drupada had performed a sacrifice to Agni for a son, who would defeat Drona and a daughter, fit to be the wife of Arjuna.

Sutaputra: Son of a Charioteer.

Kshatriyas: Caste of kings and warriors.

Brahmin : The priestly class

Here I must put in a disclaimer saying that I am not a believer in the caste system, and see all people as equal! The insult against Karna is a part of the story, not my invention!

Though the title says “accidental polyandrist”, Draupadi’s  polyandry might not have been all that accidental. The legend goes that in her previous birth she had asked Lord Shiva to give her a husband who was kind and an upholder of Dharma, strong, brave and courageous, handsome and intelligent. Lord Shiva said that all these qualities can never be found together in a single man, and hence he would give her five!

This incident from the Mahabharata has been a pet peeve for feminists. The incident has been viewed as reeking of male chauvinism and subjugation of women.

I have always wondered about the silence of Draupadi here. Her character, as I understand her, is that of an assertive woman-one who would not have allowed such a thing to happen to her! In many occasions in the Mahabharata, she speaks without reserve when she sees injustice meted out. Even during her swayamvara, she was quick to chide Karna, who she presumed was unworthy of her. In such a scenario can her silence be construed as acceptance?

Others say of course that her protests were edited out. That she must have spoken against this, but she was silenced.

But why silence her only here? Why not on other occasions where she challenges “masculine” pride and chauvinism?

So many questions..no real answer! Would love if you'll could share your views.

Special thanks to Ammukutty who graciously proof-read this and made some suggestions which were taken with many thanks!
4.9k · Aug 2012
Manners
manners make the man
and the woman too
but how are the manners made?

manners are made through education
through learning from life’s hard knocks

manners are made when we strive away
even when the going gets rough

manners are made when we choose to create
when everything is turning to dust

manners are made when we cheer the day
when we seem out of luck

manners are not about being polite
not just about etiquette

manners are about attitude
about giving the world your best!

- Vijayalakshmi Harish
  10/08/2012
Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
We call it “peacock hill”
I love this misty humidity that hangs here
sunlight barely peeking through; lovely mossy ground and wet leaves
turning to mulch under our tramping feet, we hear the peacocks call
in their unique tone - musical, alluring and promising
of a rare treat to the eyes,  I’m only six years old, walking by your side,
and I don’t realize that in my excitement to collect peacock feathers-
i’m missing the peacocks for the feathers
and
I’m missing your company for the peacocks

and somehow if I could turn back time, i’d like to make that right
pay more attention to you, than to silly feathers or birds, beautiful though they are
just soak in the moment, and be with you completely
so that years later, when we live so far away
i’d look back on this moment with a lot less regret
and be glad, that we father and daughter
had some great times together

-Vijayalakshmi Harish

Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
When I was a young girl, my father would take me to a place that we liked to call "peacock hill", since peacocks could be spotted there. I remember very little of it unfortunately :(
My parents and I live in different cites now, and I really miss them sometimes..like today!
4.1k · Oct 2012
Submission (Pyramid)
You
tease, excite
entice me surely
promise to melt slowly
eager tongue can’t bear waiting
illicit desire awakens, pulling myself back
you though, stronger one, seductively luring me
you deliciously forbidden serving of chocolate ice cream!

Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
I'll never be able to stick to my diet!!! :(
4.0k · Jan 2013
True Achievement
and the poet said to the mountaineer
don’t look at the peak
as a goal to be conquered
look at it instead
as a loved one to be adored
and explored
and it shall be yours
forever

- 03.01.2013
        Vijayalakshmi Harish
       Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
I dreamt this last night-part of a longer poem in the ticker tape that my dreams are. Unfortunately this is all I could remember when I woke up.
3.8k · Sep 2012
The Arrival of the Ganges
over a snow-covered mountain top in heaven
some secret river lies
stirring not earthwards
this river of the Gods

and then a prince disturbs
her peaceful ferocity
with determined prayer to cleanse
the sins of his forefathers

Look she trembles with wounded pride!
Not a mere mortal river is she
a Goddess, her anger awakened
but she must proceed

the Gods have asked her so she shall go
but she makes her displeasure known
threatening to swallow all of existence
she follows

the earth shakes
it cannot hold her weight
her power her strength her majestic gait
life-giver, she is now a messenger of death

in her anger she is beautiful,
this world cannot sustain her
only he who wields the trident
can reign in her fall

and then the Mahadev traps her
even as she falls in a mighty torrent
thinking she will sweep him
to the nether regions

in his locks she is lost
struggling, she resembles
the naga around his neck
she spits like a cobra

this immortal river
stays tangled in his locks for many a year
till, defeated and frustrated
she begs forgiveness

and then with his blessings
she trickles down
still furious in pace
but in heart at peace

the mother of all rivers-
this river of rebirth
her sound like thunder
her hair like streaks of lightning

celestial beings witness
the skies are lit
the parched earth satiated
Ganga has descended

as Bhagirathi

- Vijayalakshmi Harish
         03.09.2012

Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
The Ganges in Hindu mythology is considered the holiest of holy rivers. She has the status of a Goddess, as she belongs to swarga (roughly translated as heaven). She is considered to be so pure, that bathing in her waters can not only rid one of physical ailments but also cleanse one's sins.
King Bhagiratha (an ancestor of Sri Rama) is credited with bringing her down to earth, as a means of releasing his forefathers from a curse. Ganga, would not descend willingly, but had to do so at the order of the Gods. In her vanity, she fell so furiously that the earth was in danger of being destroyed. Lord Shiva controlled her fall by trapping her in his jata (hair). This poem describes this incident.
~~
                                        a young couple roams these woods
                                             wounded by Kama’s arrows
                                          in each other’s eyes they find solace
                                           the rest of the world does not exist



a heavenly lass Pramadwara is                                                              a­ handsome young sage is Ruru
beautiful eyes, luscious lips                                                            s­trong and virile, though not a prince
slender waist, wide hips                                                             ­                        face bathed in benign light
every inch an apsara’s offspring                                                        ­   the result of his spiritual penance
Ruru’s heart is in her possession                                                   Pramadwara, that divine beauty is his

                                                            ­        lost in each other
                                                          t­hey roam these woody lanes
                                                    unaware­, uncaring of anything else
                                                   of love’s sweet wine they drink deep
                                                the more they drink, the  more unsatiated


and then fate rolls its dice
tragedy strikes!
Pramadwara’s unseeing eyes
find a serpent underfoot-it bites!
throes of passion turn into throes of death
in her lover’s arms she slowly dies
                                                            ­                                                      broken-hear­ted, wounded of spirit
                                                          ­                                                     anger seething within, Ruru mourns
                                                          ­                                             “my love’s sweet journey is not finished
                                                        ­                                       too young, too beautiful, too full of life to die
                                                             ­                                                                 ­ my Pramadwara must live!
                                                           ­                                                       and if she can’t, then I shall follow
                                                          ­                                                          this world is nothing without her
                                                             ­                                                                it is uninspiring and bitter”

saying so he prepares to die
till a voice from heaven arrests him
“Ruru do not mourn your lover
her time had come, you are no mere mortal
a sage you are, with spiritual knowledge
you need not be taught, what is written is written
time cannot be turned back, so leave this foolish path
accept that she is gone, turn back!”

                                                         ­                                 “what do you celestials know of love and hurt
                                                            ­                                                  you who neither live, nor love or die
                                                             ­                                  you exist unaware of love’s magnificent spell
                                                           ­                                           its pleasant charms and beautiful bylanes
                                                         ­                                                 and certainly you knew not my darling
                                                         ­                                               or of our love, so pure, so full of longing
                                                         ­                 that now remains unfulfilled, like a cruel broken promise
                                                         ­                        without each other I cannot live, nor can she truly die
                                                             ­           her soul shall never find peace until I join her or otherwise
                                                       ­                                                                 ­                      she returns alive”

back and forth they argue
each one unyielding and stubborn
but in the war between love and logic
love is triumphant here
a deal is struck, destiny is forced to yield
under love’s incredible power
                                                           ­                        “Ruru you are adamant, you refuse to compromise
                                                      ­                                                              so you shall have your lover’s life
                                                            ­                                                                 ­    in exchange for a sacrifice
                                                       ­                                         half your destined lifetime you shall give her
                                                             ­                                                           so neither of you shall live long
                                                            ­                                             but while you live you shall be together
                                                        ­                                        if this is acceptable, use your spiritual power
                                                           ­                                                   to make the exchange, but remember
                                                        ­                                                      your life will be that much shorter”

but what is eternal life without love  
so in a trice the exchange is made
from her deathly slumber Pramadwara awakes
to Ruru’s eager, enthusiastic embrace
tears of reunion mingled with pleasure
eyes looking forward to
a life and a death-eternally together

                                                    ­a young couple roams these woods
                                                           ­ wounded by Kama’s arrows
                                                        in­ each other’s eyes they find solace
                                                        th­e rest of the world does not exist


-Vijayalakshmi Harish
  02.10.2012

Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
Kama : The God of Love
Apsara : Celestial Dancers
3.4k · Oct 2012
Sex, Lies and Betrayal
the paper feels jilted
the pen seems to have abandoned him
he misses her tickling caress
she was always an adulteress
frolicking with the fingers that held her

                                                            ­                     paper, pen , fingers
                                                         ­          they were an exciting *******


                                                   ­         if only he knew
                                                            ­                                                                 ­          the pen weeps her inky tears
                                                           ­                                                                 ­             she has lost both her lovers-
                                                         ­                                                                 ­the paper lies too far off, too distant
                                                         ­                                                                 ­                  in her sorrow she is spent
                                                           ­                                                                 ­                         unable to touch him
                                           she was first and foremost always his
                                    the fingers were just a necessary flirtation
                                        but now even the fingers have found
                                                      more fertile ground?

Meanwhile the fingers come
in ecstatic betrayal
sexting with the keyboard
wham bam thank you ma’m
                                                            ­    and its done

-Vijayalakshmi Harish
  26/10/.2012

Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
I asked my inner writer,
Is your prose poetic?
Or your poetry prosaic?
And my inner writer asked me,
Are you traditional with modern values?
Or are you modern with traditional values?
Are you an introvert who loves to express?
Or an extravert who loves silences?
Are you an optimist who sees the clouds?
Or a pessimist who sees rainbows?
Are you thoughtful with some light-hearted ways?
Or humourous with some sober ways?
And on and on and on and on
And on and on it went.
I'll never ask my inner writer
About writing
Again.
-Vijayalakshmi Harish
24.09.2012

Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
The original poem : http://allpoetry.com/poem/8538761-Zebra_Question-by-Shel_Silverstein
3.1k · Sep 2012
a poet is...
one who basks in the soft heat of grandiose moonliness
growing fatter on honeyed imaginations
their sicklysweetness soaking through the pores
of countless generations
their minds invade a collective consciousness
burning arcs of inspiration – torches of the collective vision
in drilling through mutual experience
great gaping black holes of creation
effigies of super-egos, lynched on altars of desire
neon flames and disco lights, emotions on a massive pyre
maiden voyagers on never-ending cruise
sinking in foreign oceans – their endurance dupes
minor gods of destiny and fate they await
dionysian ****** of wine and food for thought
and hearts that beat in unison
a schizoid muttering that enlarges and deafens
manic pleasure that spins and spins
in eternal circles of pleasure and pain, loss  and gain
opioid mists that dream a dream of everlasting name
an addiction an obsession that sumbits
to some masochistic drive
to empathize.

- Vijayalakshmi Harish
        06.09.2012

Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
”The courage of the poet is to keep ajar the door that leads into madness.” - Christopher Morley
2.9k · Oct 2012
INFP
I’m peccable not impeccable
prone to making mistakes
to falling down
and getting up
                                                              ­                      i keep to myself
                                                          ­                         i’ll hide behind the scenes
                                                          ­                        i don’t always like to talk
                                                            ­                       always preferring to listen to anything you want to say
my life is dances to a rhythm
known only to myself
there is a routine (home-work home) in the chaos
everything else gets fit in somehow
                                      
                                                                ­                                   you’d never even notice me in a crowd
                                                           ­                                       certainly not the life of the party
                                                           ­                                       you’d never even miss me
                                                              ­                                    i was hardly there in the first place
there is never a plan
just an agreement with myself
to cross every bridge when I come to it
my plans are too messy to be reliable
                                                        ­                                          you won’t find anyone who knows me really
                                                          ­                                      difficult to be understood
                                                      ­                                         but eager to understand
                                                      ­                                         to lend a helping hand
i live mostly inside my own head
making up stories as i go along
open to every kind of ending
always exploring some new idea
                                                                ­                                      my inner world is what charges my batteries
                                                       ­                                               its here that everything comes alive
                                                           ­                                            where electric stuff happens
                                                         ­                                              and possibilities come pouring out

                                      I live for the people and the things that matter to me
                                      for my inner light that guides me
                                    between what I am and what I do
                                       i insist on integrity
                                                       ­ 
- Vijayalakshmi Harish
   09.10.2012
Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/the-16-mbti-types.asp#INFP
2.9k · Feb 2013
A Seashell's Love Story
here i await
the dawn’s first light
to shrug off the cool caress
of the moonbeams
silver tinged, fingernailish beauty
i am a lustrous
princess of the deep
yet i’m here
on this sandy beach
for you sunbeam
i’d gladly leave
my home, my hearth,
everything that speaks familiarity
to welcome your strangeness
soak myself in it, imbibe it,
as i have loved the brine
now i wish to fly with you
on your gold-tipped wings
redolent of your perfumed warmth

so then sunshine,
shall we elope?

- Vijayalakshmi Harish
  25.02.2013.
  Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
A rewrite of one of my older poems which seems to have been accidentally deleted. I could not find the backup of the poem either, so I had to rewrite it. Hopefully its better than the original (written in on 25th September, 2012).
2.9k · Jan 2013
The Water-Lily and the Moon
in the ***** of the silver waves
grew a single water lily
speckless and spotless
the colour of pure milk
a private bud, it lay unopened
till the night it blossomed
complete, open, a whorl of whiteness!
exquisite in its secluded state
it pondered sadly on its fate
alone –
awash with an awful ache
it looked upwards towards the great black lake
so much similar to its own address
with just one exception that made the biggest difference
like a mirror leading on to a parallel universe
another swirl of bright white flowered
not alone but surrounded
by many young buds!
how wonderful thought the lily
how cheerful that bloom must be
to live thus accompanied by family
so pining it withered
feeling unloved, unwanted
never knowing that from above
the moon watched wailing
“how full of life was that lovely flower
alas! alas! how I loved her!
never could I have the courage to tell her
she - a brightness lit from within
and i a mere rock
with no light of my own”

- Vijayalakshmi Harish
   25.01.2013
   Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
2.6k · Sep 2012
Reincarnation
sustain inner spirit
through the winds of time
the changes will sweep
you through eternity
                                       ॐ पूर्णमदः पूर्णमिदं पूर्णात्पुर्णमुदच्यते
                                       पूर्णश्य पूर्णमादाय पूर्णमेवावशिष्यते ॥
                                       ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥

but sustain yourself
through love and hate
sustain through destiny
through monotonous fate

countless rewinds and
fast forwards  -
life is always
the same old play

and one day rise
above it all
onwards towards Brahman
with yourself reunite

            Om, That is Complete, This is also Complete, From Completeness rises that Completeness
            From Completeness Subtract Completeness, and Completeness Remains
            Om Peace, Peace, Peace.


-Vijayalakshmi Harish
  05.09.2012
Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
2.6k · Feb 2013
Stranger
don’t you know that it was you
who like the Pied Piper
drew me here to
this cross road where
my ideas collided with you
in a state of bewildered joy
pleasant surprise
in spite of some inherent shyness;
a tendency towards introversion
would not stop
this flow of words
even as the cloak of anonymity
fell apart
like a bee finds the nectar that it is due
Stranger, i found you.

- Vijayalakshmi Harish
    12.02.2013
    Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
A poetic conversation with Kirti and Aditya
2.6k · Nov 2012
Detachment
this swirling roaring wind that blows homeward from the sea
                                         saltiness with eucalyptus blending in twisting my fear
                                                the knots in my chest and stomach entangling
                                                      ­deadly mocktail of emotions surging
                                                         ­ with every  howling whoosh  
                                                        ­        a new green life falls breaking
                                                        ­                      life prematurely ending
                                                          ­                       storm violently shaking
                                                         ­                           every limb of every tree
                                                            ­            an attempt to blow anxiety
                                                         ­               into each living breath
                                                          ­                       a drenched vision
                                                          ­                           of a couple of crows
                                                           ­                        seemingly meditating
                                                      ­                      in the midst of the tempest
                                                         ­            holding their own  
                                                           ­                     in the eye
                                                             ­                   of the storm
                                                           ­                       they find
                                                            ­                         Peace

- Vijayalakshmi Harish
   01.11.2012

Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
my city Chennai experienced the effect of Cyclone Nilam which hit the south-east coast of India yesterday. No major damage done in the city though. 1 person has been reported dead and 5 missing at sea. My prayers go out to them , and to those affected by Sandy as well.
2.6k · Jan 2013
Personality Type
some people
are like dried red chillies -
dangerous looking.
when in hot oil
they jump, splutter,
threaten and make a lot of noise
but then
you realize
that their heat is impotent
as the seeds inside
are quite dead

- Vijayalakshmi Harish
   30.01.2013
   Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
2.6k · Oct 2012
self exploration
gently spiced dreams invite me-
come in and take a peek
look within, search for yourself
get lost in this fragrant wonderland
explore the cliffs in your mind
off which the waterfall of your thoughts rush down
in mighty, uncontrollable torrents
full of a refreshing energy-positive, powerful
swirling around, connecting to the inner caves
within which lies the buried treasure of your secrets
some, waiting to be excavated and shared
others wanting to be buried deeper
but overall it’s a happy place, come every night
rediscover yourself, every time.

- Vijayalakshmi Harish
   03.10.2012

Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
2.5k · Sep 2012
Passionate Rain
I want to live in the embrace
of these rain clouds so ominous so dark
and yet within them somewhere
there must be a spark
why else to they set alight such illicit pleasure

the drizzle burns upon my skin
and glistens like a diadem in my hair
petrichor teasing gently before the shower brings
a volley of dreams crashing down here
a bird within my chest sings

a mizzle is just not enough
the darkness without echoes the darkness within
I want a deluge, I want to drown
want to be borne away and lose control
want to stand in the rain and feel this sweet pain

I just want to feel – don’t want to think
- Vijayalakshmi Harish
        11.09.2012

Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
2.5k · May 2013
an afternoon
love came in many disguises
sometimes a name, sometimes a grace,
taking the mute pages out on a walk
absorbing the sun's rays
in a hope that some golden drop
may filter into my poetry.
but the words only vibrate
when you're near to feel their dance
--they care not for any other applause.
they seek only to reflect this phase
of our meetings silently held
under the mango tree.
of my hand attempting to leave
its mark upon your palm
its gentle heat melting
my core and yours
creating some new alloy.

- Vijayalakshmi Harish
  25.05.2013
Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
2.4k · Jan 2013
Perfectionism
distended the pearls are red and uncovered
upon my mistakes. erasure taunts.

something stirs unbidden strangely
familiarity dissolves in tears

suddenly distant the sun streaks
through the black waves

nothing works anymore

- Vijayalakshmi Harish
         02.01.2013
        Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
2.4k · Sep 2012
if the world were to end
if the world were to end
            today,
                          or tomorrow
                                                                ­                                       or someday
i’ve realized  that I don’t really care!
it doesn’t matter to me-
none of this
                                                 there is just one thing though
through all the raging and destruction
volcanoes, tsunamis and quakes
(can you hear the roars now?)
i want to remain
in your embrace
as everything crumbles around us
(can you feel that? All the crumbling. Strangely it makes me think of cookies breaking )
i just want to be held by you
the way you hold me as I fall asleep every night
(sweetly, gently)
that would be a more beautiful passage
calmer, more accepting
just like floating into a dream
(I can hardly hear the screams)
and then it would all be done
life isn’t important
nor death
the only thing that matters-
is you.
- Vijayalakshmi Harish
         02.09.2012

Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
2.4k · Feb 2013
Angry Waves
brittle waves crash like
china plates
who do they argue with?
the moon, who is their father
the sea-their mother
their soulmate, an unseen river,
or me?
i am but an detached observer of this
play of passionate fervour

- Vijayalakshmi Harish
  03.02.2013
  Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
2.3k · Oct 2012
Rained Out! (Word Sonnet)
drenched
feathers-
my
inner
raven
berates
monsoon;
                                                                ­            avoiding
                                            ­                                cloud’s
                                                                ­       melancholy
                                                      ­                        gaze
                                    ­                                                                 ­                                                        awaiting
                                                                ­                                                                 ­                                sun’s
                                                                ­                                                                 ­                              embrace

-Vijayalakshmi Harish
  30.10.2012

Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
Just need some sunshine now!
2.3k · Sep 2012
Poetry in the Kitchen
i love to write poetry with food
the clickety-clack of the knife on the dining board is my metre
the veggies going choppity-chop are the words
the masalas are the embellishments
that lift them to another level altogether
the pressure cooker whistles,
something in the frying pan sizzles
the flavours rise and fill my home
with the smell of cooking
the gravy thickens
the pulse quickens
in anticipation of the tasting
the aromas tease as i’m tempering
a little coriander for the topping
and I’m done!
- Vijayalakshmi Harish
   09.09.2012

Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
"There is no sincerer love than the love of food." - George Bernard Shaw.
Just realized that a foodie like me hasn't written any poems about food! Had to set that right!
2.3k · Oct 2012
The Journey
is it possible that
i could love you more than i already do?
can you take my word for it
that it can only grow?
from milestone to milestone
the road gets longer
but i too become stronger
with every push and pull against my will
the speed in my sail swells
driving me farther and farther
all i wish is that the journey be long
hopeful adoration borne upon a wish and a song

- Vijayalakshmi Harish
   07.10.2012

Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
2.2k · Sep 2012
Gauri & Kali
Gauri,                                                           ­                                Kali
The fair one,                                                             ­      the dark one
       Bedecked in silks                                                           naked body bedecked with skulls
flowers and jewels                                                           ­ taken from demons
dark hair tied in a long lovely plait                                   her wild hair hangs all about her
Jagatmaata-Mother of the World                                       The Fierce One-Destroyer of Evil
Feminine grace personified                                        Feminine Power in all its glory                      
  her kindness assures                                                          ­     her countenance strikes fear
Calm and peace                                                            ­                                       in the hearts of evil doers
      She uses the primal energy
To nurture, to create                                                           ­                                         To destroy, to cleanse
Some days I’m like her                                                              ­        On other days like her      
      On most days I’m both

Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
In Hindu mythology Gauri and Kali are two forms of Goddess Parvati.
2.2k · Oct 2012
An Observation (Pyramid)
tragic
that many
are motivated more
through avoidance of pain
than through the attainment of
the achievements their heart desires earnestly

- Vijayalakshmi Harish
07.10.2012

Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
sdrawkcab lla si ti
semitemos
sgniht  ta kool ot yap t’nseod
eb dluohs yeht yaw eht
ytilibats pu evig  ot nrael
ytiugibma fo ssenteews eht ecarbme
ekil-gurd si rewop sti
sevird ti  sa sessessop ti
shpmuirt taht ssendam a
  tniop noitanimluc eht ta
ytivitaerc fo ecand eht
egru na ;regnuh a si ti
tcepser a sdnammoc taht
lausunu eht ,euqinu eht rof
!ylpmoc ohw esoht staiwa dlrow wen elohw a
-em evig
noitanimreted emos noissap emos
!ylf dna sgniw eht hcterts ot ssengnilliw emos
- em ekam
seil dna sevil taht sselraef a
ytirucesni nwo sti yb detrofmoc

- Vijayalakshmi Harish
27.08.2012
Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
2.1k · Oct 2012
Diving Under
swimming in the sea of your memories
i try to find my voice
echoing still in the conch shells
pieces of me tangled in the seaweed
remembering when you caught me in your net
setting  me free
the currents between us – the warm and the cold
all the rainbow hues that colour our story
ancient, real, mysterious
beneath somewhere dangers lurk
sharks that feed off our conflicts
rabid appetites tearing apart
but we grow back-indestructible till the end
we survive like a  coral reef – beautiful
we protect the shores of our life

- Vijayalakshmi Harish
   04.10.2012

Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
2.0k · Oct 2012
Emotional Suicide
perplexity and confusion
through  deep chasms of self-deprecation
we trudge world weary and troubled
furthermore we play philosopher (of dim shadows)
or worse fortune-teller (of self) creating self-fulfilling prophecies
that tell of tears and framed laughter (within society’s  embrace)
turmoil coupled with turbulence                                         (what if? what if not? why me? why not me?
wreaking havoc in the present                                                       clouding all sense of joy and peace)
not realizing that the past is dead and gone
in future times - que sera sera, there is no point
fretting and fuming
worrying and burying happiness six feet under ghostly nonexistence

                       that is why I choose to  **** all negative thought

Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
"“Is there anything men take more pains about than to make themselves unhappy?” - Poor Richard's Almanack

"The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize you control your own destiny." - Albert Ellis.
2.0k · Dec 2012
Addiction
Scraps of poetry are all it takes -
whoever says words are “sweet nothings”
is so sorely mistaken
and has never known that intellectual ******
that comes from reading emotions
in perfect juxtaposition

- Vijayalakshmi Harish
   09.12.2012

Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
There is just something about a well-written poem/essay/letter or even email that just makes me so happy!
2.0k · Jul 2013
Death's Colours
death is laced with colours no eye can see
i saw it yesterday
resting on a twig
on a cold manhole cover
against which it looked so alive
-- it seemed to be comforted
brown wings pulled close, tips almost touching,
against the tiny white shell of its chest,
speckled with black
a tiny beak welcoming the chance to grab
at an interminable silence
--neither ugly nor morbid
but gently pretty,
the presence of death
affirming life.

- Vijayalakshmi Harish
   06.07.2013
   Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
2.0k · Oct 2012
The Promise of Hennaed Hands
blood red
dancing peacock
adorns right
                                                           ­                                                                 ­                    dholak and  shehnai
                                                    ­                                                                 ­                              play rhythmically
                                                    ­                                                                 ­                                                     on left    
                                                        ­                       hennaed hands
                                                           ­                           rekindle
                                                                ­              my  bridal memories
stolen glances
of dream-filled eyes
the anticipation of a new life
                                                            ­                                                                 ­     mingled with apprehension
                                                    ­                                                                 ­                                        at straying off
                                                             ­                                                                 ­                              familiar roads
                                                        ­faith tied everything together
                                                       and coloured my hands today


- Vijayalakshmi Harish
   14.10.2012

Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
dholak and shehnai are traditional Indian musical instruments.
I                          am                  a                 ­            creative                 vampire
Am                     a                     bizzare                   creature                     i,
A                         bizzare          poetry                    craving               ­     vampire
Creative             creature         craving                   your                        poetry
Vampire              I,       ­               vampire                poetry                   write

Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
My humble attempt at trying to write a square stanza. A square stanza is one that can be read both across and down. Have been wanting to write one ever since I read Lewis Carroll's square stanza. You could see that at this link : http://www.futilitycloset.com/2009/05/18/7669/
2.0k · Sep 2012
Poetry Rorschach
Do you believe
that a poem
has not one meaning
                                                                ­                                                                 ­     but imports as numerous
                                                        ­                                                                 ­           as the eyes that experience
                                                      ­                                                                 ­                                     its existence
                                                       ­                                                                 ­               and try to piece together
                                                        ­                                                                 ­              how it exists in their life?
that the core of a poem
is some internal light
that the poet has basked in
which has manifested itself on the page?

                                                          ­                but that for each of us
                                                              ­    who is touched by its presence
                                                        ­                   it is an aurora borealis
                                                        ­                  which holds us rooted
                                                          ­                 panting in excitement
                                                      ­                       lost in admiration
                                             and appreciating that someone somewhere understands?


                                                ­                                                                 ­           that an encounter with a poem
                                                            ­                                                 is like trying to find shapes in the clouds
                                                          ­                                                                 ­       or constellations in the stars
                                                           ­                                                                 ­            or meanings in inkblots

that within its randomness
patterns emerge
and each one  may discover
exactly what one is looking for
                                                             ­                                                           that within this meeting of minds
                                                           ­                                                                 ­     there is an universal connect
                                                         ­                                                                 ­                        a personality test-
                                                           ­                                                                 ­                        that reveals both
                                                            ­                                                                 ­            the reader and the poet

so while reading any poem
it may be worthwhile to think
what did I learn about you?
and what did I learn about myself?

-Vijayalakshmi Harish
18.09.2012

Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
2.0k · Jul 2013
Potent
the clouds bloom
like mysterious flowers
seeming  to survive by soaking up
the tears of the waiting multitude.
they churn the wind
causing it to blow through
my every cell
filtering through my every pore
as i abandon any hope
of maintaining some adult-like dignity
the puddles call
the rain falls
and i let myself go

- Vijayalakshmi Harish
   10.07.2013
   Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
1.9k · Sep 2012
Lethologica
He’s doing a crossword, I’m doing the dishes.
“What is that word?”, he asks,
“the one that means given to incessant laughter”.
“Joyful, gleeful, cheerful?”
‘No that’s not what I meant”
“Mirthful, merry, enjoyment”
“That’s just not it”
“Well, how many letters is it?”
(Now I’m getting interested)
“Eight”
“What does it begin with?”
“I haven’t got that yet, but it does end with a N”
“a N…Hmmm..Oh! I’ve got it”
“What?”
“I can’t remember-but its on the tip of my tongue”
“That’s not helping”, he adds with sarcasm
“I’m giving it all I’ve got but the word just won’t come”
“Try saying it in your mind,
what does it sound like?”

“Aquarium”
“So, its starts with an A?”
“Yeah, that’s for sure”
“We’ve got to find this lethologica of yours a cure!”
“I’ve got! I’ve got it! Abderian is the word!”

Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
The word "lethologica" describes the state of not being able to remember the word you want. It is a psychological disorder. The related non-pathological condition is the "tip of the tongue" phenomenon. The above is an imaginary conversation.
1.9k · Aug 2012
A Woman of Substance
a woman of substance the magazine proclaims
and what are these "substances" may I ask?

Its her grit and determination
her will to succeed
to overcome and defend her rights
if need be
loving and nurturing are not her only duties
she can also break your heart or break your bones
messing with her is not a risk you need
she creates her own space
she finds her own niche

She may be a social butterfly, a business woman,
a sports star, a housewife or a maid indeed
but a woman of substance is one of a kind indeed
- Vijayalakshmi Harish
  09/08/2012
Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
1.9k · Nov 2012
Word Association?
mind puddles (remembering e.e.c)
mind puzzles (action to inaction)
time on a treadmill
cryptic crosswords
(crystallize)
Act II
{experimental} overcome
black currant swirls
espy telescopical visions

-Vijayalakshmi Harish
7.11.2012

Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
1.9k · Aug 2012
Secret
secret laughter
secret reason to be

when i'm with you
our hands hold a secret
that our smiles reveal

in the purple skies of my dreams
our secrets are the kites that fly

- Vijayalakshmi Harish
  04/08/2012
Copyright © Vijayalakshmi Harish
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