Cocooned in the temple by the tree grove uphill
Even as rained clothed the skies in serenity
We’d gathered early morn
For an invocation to the Lord
devotees in orderly rows, sitting by offerings of flowers and lamps,
As chants of the 1000 names rose sky-wards
in age-old prayer and supplication
each syllable ringing clear
It dawned upon me
How ever generation has its own demons, its own *kurukshetra*
Time after time, a call to arms
Battle lines drawn in the sand
Armies at the ready
A call to battle,
to defend the righteous
As also the weak
Each of us an Arjuna, battle-ready, yet
plagued by self doubt
Trapped in a quicksand: do’s, dont’s, rights, wrongs
History, modern expectations, and demands that hold us back,
Our battles fought in tightly packed lanes.
winding by lanes crammed with turn of last century’s buildings.
As also swanky shopping malls, multiplexes and such like
Our enemy yellow-livered
just as sly, unfathomable
why, he may even be one amongst us--
and going by the record strictly
the enemy seems to be winning, hands down.
While reams of old newsprint are stacked
Splattered with undone lives
Perhaps it is time to abandon what is not working
Stop cowering behind closed doors
For how long will prayers, pleas, supplication work?
What will it take
For this Arjuna to be challenged
What call to arms?