By Shakti Pada Mukhopadhyay
Noh Ka Likai*
The enraged splashes of the cascade,
surrounded by eerie ghost vales,
echoed through the hills
and Sal and Pine trees,
roaring down a thousand feet,
through their milky ways
Looked foggy, like holy spirits
thrashing to effervescence
and unspooling forever,
reminding us of the sad demise of
Likai’s infant daughter.
A legendary dame of the hills, Likai,
jumped from the cliff to end her life,
since her second husband killed her earlier daughter
in envy and plotted to let her devour
ignorant that it was the flesh of her own daughter.
The hills failed to catch her
before she fell, without a break,
succumbing to the summons of gravity.
Since then the hills are in tears
and the falls run down the cheeks.
We, on a tour, could correlate the tragedy of Likai
with that of King Oedipus, who, after killing his father
and marrying his own mother unwittingly,
pierced two gold pins in his own eyes
and later died in exile. His mother
hanged herself to death. Oedipus Rex
ended with the chorus wailing,
‘Count no man happy till he dies, free of pain at last’.
But I closed my wife for a peck,
to swab her weeping rains, soothing all the pains.
*Noh Ka Likai, is a beautiful waterfall of Meghalaya, India. The words “Noh Ka Likai” literally mean “jump of Ka Likai”,where Ka is prefixed to name a female personality in Meghalaya.
Shakti Pada Mukhopadhyay, MA( English), writes poetry and prose. A lyrical drama written by him has been staged. He enjoys acting, singing, travelling and reading books.
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