That night, in Mathura

And Joy-filled, Flows the Yamuna

Slowly, I am flowing,
Carrying my fond hope
That the promise will come true
After all these years.
Nay, not a century,
I have waited for eons
Without a single glimpse
of the dark skinned prince.

The Ganga , the special one,
Is in touch with
The fair one’s matted locks,
She flows with bliss
And ever since she glimpsed
Dasaratha’s beloved boy
She is beside herself
With unchecked joy.

I may be the lesser one,
But I have to hope
That today will be the day.
And today he would come.

Suddenly, very suddenly
Fat rain drops fall on me
And become a torrent
In no time at all
Rain -laden clouds darken the sky
Thunder booms, lightning streaks
Strange light patterns
Across the dark sky dome

Is this the day?
Lord, is this the day?
I dance and sing
I slosh and swoosh
I throw naughty waves
All over my watery body
And joy filled
I almost jump over my banks

This is the day!
Yes! This is the day!
Yes! Says the Temple bell
Yes! Say the pretty birds
Who are rushing home
Yes! Say every rock and
Pebble on my way.
Yes! Says my soul.

I stand still and watch
As a man from Mathura, with a
Basket in his hands, walks.
His gait unsteady, his gaze steady
Towards me he walks
Holding his basket safe
What could be so precious
To be carried on a rainy night
As dark as this?

My penances pay off
And I wake up from trance
Silly Yamuna!
Don’t you know what’s in the
Man’s basket, beneath the rags?
Not some earthly treasure, you fool!
The treasure of all treasures
Has arrived in all his glory!

The prince has come!
The fruit of penances
Has really come!
The slayer of sins has come!
The lord of compassion
has finally come!
The very essence of the Vedas
Has come!
The one and only one
Has come as a human once again!

I pause and reflect
This is my day
In all my long river life
And I’ll live up to it!
I watch with anxiety ,as
Holding the basket tight
The man stops in my bank
His eyes wide with fright.

The frail man needs to cross
My swirling waters to reach
That place where the great one
Has planned a stay
In a home away from home.
To the sky, the father looks up
And cries out his name
Just then a thunder booms
And pulls me out of
Deep trance once again.

I muster all my might and
Every bit of stored up strength
I make a space across my width
They have to get to safety!

The saviour is playing games

He wants to know whether I can

Swallow my river-pride

And control my watery might! 

I can ! I can!

Anything for him

If pride is the last thing I have

I 'd surrender it to him gladly!

The father sheds tears of joy
And happily across he walks
The blue safire on his head
Lighting up his entire path.
I long to touch the little feet
But hold myself very still.
My mind goads me to touch him
Go, on , Yamuna,
He might be a new born
But he’s still the mighty one
Your waves will not harm him
So go touch him! Touch that tiny feet1
For, this may be your last chance
And only he knows when
He’ll come back again.
Touch his feet, woman!
It’s now or never!

No , I will not,
As I am a mother
My heart seems to say
I will not rise up
And touch the newborn feet
If I have to wait for a
Million million eons
I will wait, but touch now, I will not.
For, that’s a tiny baby
Already touched by rain
And a heartless cold wind

And then, it happened
Pink little feet alight with glory
Peeped out from the basket, they
Thrashed and thrashed until they
Reached down and
Touched my waiting waters,
Cleaning away years of
Sorrow and collected sin.

Blessed am I, for my waiting
Has now been rewarded.
And if ever you feel that
My waters taste salty, be aware that
They are but happy tears shed by a
Simple river that glorious rainy night.


Previously posted in blogspot and Sulekha.


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