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Literature

Lord Krishna – The Charioteer: Satyapal Anand

Slack fingers
Holding the reins of his horses
A charioteer
Stands immobile in the driver’s seat.
He seems to have lost his way
A dust-covered swarthy face
Scorched swarthier by blistering heat
Dry, dehydrated lips
Aglow with the fire of twin suns
Twin suns?
Yes, the two live embers burn in his eyes.
 Horses
Puffing and panting
Their breath wheezing
All four having run breathlessly for eons
Stopped now they are
Their front feet still raised in thin air
Ready to go, whenever commanded.
Distances spread over centuries
Vast desert expanses
Sans time, sans sound, sans direction
The horses have covered to reach this point
 Suspended in the space-time continuum of
The Mahabharata war of the present day.
 What era is this?
Why’s the chariot stopped?
What’s the divine charioteer waiting for?
 The Mahabharata of Kaliyuga
A thawed out moment frozen
In the continuity between
What was then and what is now.
 The charioteer shields his eyes
Looks in front – afar in the distance
Keeps on looking as if far as his vision goes
Perhaps someone may descend
Rung by weary rung from the ladder of time
From the timeless expanse above and beyond
To this lonely desert spot of being and nothing
Someone the charioteer can recognize
A youthful, energetic warrior
A handsome man, weathered beyond his years
Restless, heart-broken
A perpetual question mark quivering on his lips
Eliciting a satisfying answer
That the charioteer couldn’t give him
Back in the days of Mahabharata.
 The warrior prince
His tremulous hands still holding a bow
His arrows scattered uselessly on the sand
Despondent, self-deprecatory
Bending, with his hands resting on his knees
His gaze glued to the charioteer’s face
Asking, questioning, querying….
….My own enemy I am, O’ Krishna
O’ my charioteer teacher
Guide me at this turning point in life
What’s the right thing to do?
To wage a war and kill my own kith and kin
Just because they are evil?
For eons
The charioteer has waited patiently for the warrior prince.
For eons, he has done nothing
Except for look beyond the horizon.
 The soundless desert mocks him
Here he is – Himself the god of articulation
The master of all speech
Standing without a word, without a sound
For there is no Arjun around
To ask him the ultimate question.

Krishna: God’s incarnation(in the Hindu belief)- the author of “Geeta”
Krishna chose to be Arjun’s charioteer in the war
Kali-yuga: The last of the four periods of human habitation on earth

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