By Ashok Suri
Lament of Jatayu*
I heard some cries,
And woke up rubbing my eyes.
I looked up and saw —
My breath suspended in awe —
A giant chariot
Running through the moon-lit clouds,
Like a frightened snake hastening through crowds.
I rushed up,
My eyes following the magical chariot.
I was surprised to see
The mighty Ravana*, sweating with anxiety,
Speeding away with grief-stricken Janki *.
His eyes were tinged with fear,
His face withered as I drew near.
He mocked me as old and weak,
Struck me on the beak.
I swooped down on his head,
Had him almost wrapped up
In my fierce fluttering wings,
With my claws cutting into his limbs.
His golden crown
Tilted and fell down.
Like a wounded lion he roared,
Chopped off my wings with his sword.
He sped away into the southern skies,
And I could do nothing
But only hear her fading cries,
With tears welling up in my eyes.
Wounded, defeated, in despair,
Unable to hold myself in air,
I fell down with a thud,
Like a huge heap of blood.
Dear Rama*, how I wish
I had saved her from that monster!
To stand mute before such cruelty,
Is against my nature.
I would have done my all,
Even if she were a stranger.
O Lord! Let the cord of life snap,
As I lie with my head in your lap.
Jatayu*: In the Hindu epic Ramayana, Jatayu is an eagle-like divine bird.
Janki*: Also known as Sita, wife of Ram, the Hindu deity in epic ‘Ramayana’.
Rama*: the major deity of Hinduism, the central figure in epic ‘Ramayana’
Ravana*: the demon-king of Lanka.
Mr. Ashok Suri retired from the Revenue Service in 2014 and is settled with his family in Mumbai. He loves to read and write. He tries to convey in simple words what he wants to say.
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