Author Archives: Rajendran M

Champa Valley

O my friends! Come and plunge
into the depths of Champa Valley.
The peaks of the Dhaulador do not gleam
and the glen below seems a gulf.
The Winter is lying in wait
for the welcoming flakes of snow to fall
and we need no sweaters to quell the cold.

The gullies on the slopes are bereft of streams
and the pines in cols do not greet the tourists!
The unstirred leaves and grass are brooding
and the absence of the whooping birds
ring the bell to the end of the Spring.
But See! The upcoming Dhonis are hitting sixes
in the Chaugan sward.

Come to the Chamunda Devi temple.
Shout and hear your echoes from the hills opposite
and the sounds dying away
rattling far amid the lofty ranges.
We have no time to stroll on the salubrious Dalhousie
and have a gaze and be lost in the haze
of the snowy summits or in the roaring rivers.

Meek you are to roam in the sylvan glades
And seek solace for your restless souls.

Farmers around Pattadakkal

Farmers around Pattadakkal (Karnataka)

Are they spectres from the alien planet
To wet tracts of Satavahanas
For braving the inundating floods
And weeping over the loss of crops?

The paddy fields have been layered with mud
And the rotten ground nuts are smelling bad
The darkened stems of sugar-cane go waste
And water is not receding in haste.

People dump their refuse on the narrow road
Where the cattle stand awaiting fodder.
People thresh and winnow for some grains
And the children sow tears in pangs of hunger.

How will these tillers tide over the year?
There the buses too don’t tread in fear.
The vegetables hesitate to pour in
And the nude kids sell curd in earthen jars.

The torrents have made the basin horrendous
Where the people can’t reclaim the harvests lost.
The marvels of temples no more appeal
When the whole vale is a gloomy morgue.

The barns are empty and their life is lousy.
Water in the coconuts is not tasty.
The peasants will be submerged in debts
As the corns of millets too have gone wastes.

The linnets and finches have left that place
Seeking somewhere perch and food alas!
The old cough and look at us in surprise
But do not stretch their palms for alms.

May God bless the college going wards
Of the farmers toiling on the plains of Aihole;
For in their hands lie their hope and future
And life again to sprout, grow and blossom.

The Tungabadra Dam

The waves waltzing and gleaming
in the Tungabadra Dam
entice all to the fence.

The golden rays from the West
make the watery surface blond
and the people are in a spell.

Hiding yawning watery grave
beneath the wavy carpet
the Dam in full, draws us to snap.

The overflowing canals
and the water sluicing gates
are clapping at the blooming gardens.

My movie camera is on
to catch the gleeful waves
and the fainting Sun afar.

Oh, is it a tsunami?
The waves leapt over the fence
and rinsed us and the Camera.

Oh, the marvel of Tungabadra
has blessed me to rise from the agony
of my student’s betrayal.

Cover my Probing Eyes

I want to be like the epic Kanthari
with my eyes covered.
For there are priests, monks and mullahs
who recite prayers to God in tongues
living on the lips of research scholars.
Isn’t the Almighty a polyglot?
When men learn and speak a host of languages,
will the Lord struggle to understand?
If some bigwigs come to worship
with currencies local or hard,
the priests sing prayers in dialects
which have no written script.
Hymns and slogans in opaque codes and words
have propped up militancy
silent and open to mar the peace.

Irreversible Decrees

The Afghans embraced Buddhism
in the second century;
But the twenty first century
saw the idols of Buddha hit and fired at.
One who renounced kingdom to enlighten
the people about the root cause of all misery,
has been hit by Muslim zealots who
desire to see the world Islamic.
Let peace be to the souls
which worked hard to make guns and missiles.

Muslim pilgrims throw stones at a pillar,
of course an idol of the devil
on the bridge of Jamara in Mecca.
They will very soon hit it with missiles
thanks to the cult of Taliban
spreading in all the nations
under the sponsorship of Osama.

When the fortieth century dawns,
the bigots will themselves demolish the mosques.
obeying the decrees of the clerics.
The Almighty Himself reverses Winter with Summer,
The Hills with Seas the Deserts with Fertile lands.
But some clayey brains blared out that
the decisions of the Islamic Emirates
are irreversible. Unchanging nature
will lead to one’s degradation.
Pity the people engulfed in the violent waves of Islam.

The Village and the City

Cities glitter with allowances
But villages close their bare necks
with torn ends of beggarly HRA.
Gandhi’s dreams are in books.

Vacancies in villages are unsought
but those in cities are booked in advance.
To the vexed rural public servants,
learned touts clinch the deals.

Till the prospective buyers
knock at with bundles of currencies,
vacancies in cities wait with garlands.
The rate goes sky high to rock the heaven.

Fridge, TV, PC -. are exchanged
to strike a bargain at times.
Officers wait at the feet of whores
who are the breezy shores for the scoundrels.

Vegetables, electronic goods, clothes
are dead cheap in cities.
For education and healthcare of their wards,
the ill paid in villages borrow in sorrow.

The soldiers are groomed in villages
but the cities breed beings with itching palms.
The pillars of the nation are from hamlets
but the killers are at large in cities.

To boost it’s luxury, a city has CCA;
a village has no VCA to scare penury.
Subordinates surpass the officers in Degrees.
The whole of India nauseates.

Ajantha and Ellora

The carvers
before and after Christ,
had cut marvels
out of rocks
of Deccan Plateau,
in awing Ajantha
and enchanting Ellora.

The vaulted roof
above the nave,
the Viharas for the monks,
three storeys with chapels,
the Stupas,
and the mural paintings
on the walls and ceilings,
the rock-hewn doors!!…
make us petrified with surprise.

We don’t turn renegades.
We fail to decipher
the myths and mystic inscriptions
of the Jain, the Buddhist and the Hindu.
We stand spell-bound
seeing the skills of those sculptors.

If Maria ( Evil) had succeeded
in wooing Gautama to seek
a jewelled Wheel of Empire,
then Buddhism would have made fertile
even the far east plains of Africa.

Earthquakes elect not to raze these hills
and thunder goes awry hitting somewhere.
No civil war rent off the idols.
Volcanoes erupt not in these sylvan retreats.
If alien missiles with nuclear warheads
fall on these relics of human wonders,
let shame bring on themselves.

Love not a beast

I don’t want your love no more you foolish beast,
Maximising your mini-grammar, in ways
Which feed the watchful eyes with a feast
And make your sex as philandering fays.

Oh, the frail fair monster breaks my heart
And her smiles chase me like fiery hounds
To take the peace from my mind apart
And stop it’s flight above the human bounds!

Smiles fake and words sweet you’ve in lot;
But lack much you ought to have in thy fettle.
“O God! Enliven my heart from the rot
And give to my self a fine fettle”.

Lachrymose the petite seems while singing songs
And moves the strong minds with her tears, the keys
Lures those weak with her looks, the prongs
And make them sick to lie under the trees.

You flapped your wings into the place so dense
And made me awake grievous all through the night.
You shameless bird unwisely crossed the fence
And fell off alas, before the mates you devil.

Unwept Suicides

When some whole families are jobbing
into a bank, office or hospital,
the sons of farmers
frivol away with politicians
to strengthen a party
and their life to weaken.

The wives of poor farmers
labouring under the hot Sun
lose their florid face.
The farmers of rain-starved regions
fall on evil days
when darker clouds fail to
get burst over their fields.

Rising in the early morn
they hurried to far-off places
to seek some work.
Till they are back at midnight,
with some savoury packets
their school going children wait unfed
like the fledglings in nests
waiting for their parents.

Borrowing from the rich farmers,
they send their boys to colleges.
Heaping praises over those village bosses
their tongues become worn out;
yet they obey their commands
and do mean tasks for loans
saying their boys are dullards
and after three-four years,
they will be back to toil in fields.

The Village Officers don’t live there
to help the illiterate farmers
with schemes and loans of the Government.
The Coffers of the Banks
scoff at them without the help of bigwigs.
But the funds flow to money lenders
who are busy in rural towns.
When the Government ensures no job
to a single member of a family,
which lost it’s crops to pests
or had tears bringing untilled lands
the pang of suicide has a peck at them.

They can’t beg or lick
at the palms of newly sprung up rich.
When some families die,
the Government fails to care
but the land shivers here and there.
If their tears not stopped soon,
the whole earth will be reduced to rubble.

Maha Rana Pratap Singh (Rajasthan, India)

Never he was a vassal to the Moghul,
Who led a Turkish mob to plunder
And annexe the Princely States of Bharat.
“God alone is my suzerain and not a Turk”,
He thundered and kept his word till his end.
His gallant steed Chetak matched his prowess
And vied for glory with his master Rana.
When the subdued kings lost their queens
or wedded to the Sultan their daughters,
Rana Pratap, Mewar’s Rajput Chief
Proved a lion to show the pride of his race,
By bowing not his head to Delhi.
Those who bent their knees at the Court of Moghuls
Couldn’t sit, chat and dine with him.
This insult rankled in the mind of Man Singh
Who led the army of Akbar, The Great,
And he hinted for a war with Delhi.
Missions sent to bend Rana’s heart
Failed to make any dent, and crumbled.

Hakim Khan Sur, though a Pathan
Fought at front for Rana’s army.
He had no myopic spell of religion.
He liked Rana, who treated the women
of the vanquished foe with reverence
And stood high in morals among the kings.
The randy Turks never learnt the laws of war.
They were nefarious and lawless mobs from afar.
Sur laid his life for the sake of Rana
On the first day of war at Haldighati.
The brave Bhils stood by the marvellous Rana
And Haldighati amidst Auroville hills
Turned to red with blood and saffron-turbaned heads.
Guerrilla warfare, so Rana chose
To save his men with swords and bows from guns.
Akbar’s forces couldn’t single out Pratap
To capture him alive or dead.
Breaking all the cordons, Pratap advanced
To strike at Man Singh seated on his elephant.
Chetak hopped aloft and Pratap hurled his spear
At the shameless lieutenant of Delhi.
But Man Singh escaped while his mahout fell dead.
And in the fiery fight, Pratap got trapped.
Man Singh’s faeryderm swung a sword from it’s trunk
And Chetak got a lethal cut at it’s leg.
A deadly blow also fell on Rana.
Jhala Man, the wondrous Chief of Rana
Snatched the royal emblem from Rana’s head
And bore the brunt of attack on his King.
His Chieftains tried hard to whisk Rana off
And he sallied out with his injured horse.
Jhala Man was mistaken for Rana,
And the hostile men surrounded him and killed.
Rana beat a retreat into the hills,
But two Moghuls pursued him for his head
For them to be awarded with royal gifts.

Crossing a rivulet Chetak neighed and fell,
The first time in his life to feel remorse
And breathed his last on Rana’s lap.
Rana took the saddle off his Chetak
And shed a Master’s tears on his closing eyes.
An estranged brother of Rana Pratap,
Serving under the imperial Akbar,
Chased the blood thirsty Mughuls,
severed their heads and saved his brother,
Whom the people adored as the hero.
He pleaded with Rana to mount on his horse
And hurry into the Ghatti hills deep and dense,
Where the Mughuls dared not to enter,
As the Bhills under Panja would spray stones
From the hide-outs, Nature shaped in those hills.

The loss of all his ferocious fighters
In sanguinary battles fought often,
Made Rana grievous, and he exiled himself
Into the desert, with remaining men.
He had a wise Minister to salvage
And urge him again to wield the sword
Against Delhi dreaming to swallow Bharat.
Bhama Shah, his boundless wealth to Rana gave
And the lion of Mewar defied again
And rallied his men to regain his fort.

Akbar ceased from futile wars with Rana
And turned his ire to the West of North.
Rana ruled in peace to the ease of all.
A cut on his leg put Rana on his bed.
In his nebulous vision, he saw his horse
And his soul bade bye on being pledged
That his Mewar would not bow to Delhi
And flew up mounting on his Chetak.

A University Library

The portraits of the
former Vice-Chancellors
are looking aghast
as the young scholars
are sitting on the chairs
with their eyes at the entrance,
while in their minds
some girls wearing churidars
are causing eruptions
with their cyclonic glances.

Shakespeare and Kamban,
the Koran and the Bible,
the Kural and the Vedhas
are dusty being unmoved from the racks
as the boys browse at the smiling faces.
Students don’t secrete points from books
but steal the books themselves
or injure the nose or ear of the critics
using a blade to tear off some pages.

Seeing this, the priests will shed tears
for the Bible treated as untouchable.
The clerics swearing ‘jehadi’
will fire at these unscrupulous young
who dare to ignore the Koran.
The saints will fly into a rage
for the Vedhas put to sleep.
If some monks see this scene,
they will walk from Gaya to Peking
as their Scriptures remain unsought.

The sanctum of the hungry scholars
is changed into a park for hollow heads.
The teachers are proud to say
they are tax assessees
and their students are happy to say
they are close to some politicians.

The Queen of Chittor, Padmini

The Rajput, Ratan Singh came to the throne
Of Chittorgarh, the chivalrous land,
When Khilji having all the Northern Kings won
Turned to west to put his foes to the brand.

The Turkish fighters made a blockade of the fort
To catch Padmini, the Mewar’s queen,
And take her to Khilji’s harem, and to distort
The pride of Rajputs who in war weren’t mean.

By war, the besieging Sultan found no end.
“A glance will turn me to Delhi”, he cried.
To cease the fight, the wise chose to lend
Her image arranging her mien to hide.

On the stairs of a structure amidst a lake,
The queen of the martial race was to stand
And the mad Turk from a mirror had to take
The flashed figure of the nymph made by God’s wand

In killing and blinding his kin, Khilji reveled.
He would seize the wives of vanquished kings,
And poison his marshals, who his place levelled.
He marred idols in temples and pulled the strings.

To avoid bloodshed, Ratan agreed to show
A virtual image of the queen to his guest.
But the beard- caressing thief got in to mow,
The image elegant to give his mind rest.

A Scoundrel’s hunger is never appeased.
But within the fort his sword never he drew.
The image fair his blazing heart teased.
When the host came out, engulfed him the vile crew.

Ratan got shut in the camp of the wild tribes
Which fought for zan(money), zenana(women), zamin(land) and gold.
Khilji lolled his tongue not for precious bribes,
But for Padmini, the queen chaste and bold.

The wise queen sent the Sultan, the news to meet
And the bestial Khilji smiled and braced his beard
But fighters in the guise of maids to beat
The Turk, went in palanquins, with valour weird.

Her uncle, Gora ran the blockade and safely freed
The King and fought to his grave with mad dogs.
The frothy beast stormed the fort again with greed
With an added force of looting savage hogs.

The saffron turbaned Rajputs wielded their swords
But their wrath to wreak vengeance went in vain.
And Rani(the queen) braved jouhar(the pyre) in cries of brave words.
Her bewitching frame Khilji’s leer had no gain.

Chaste women with charm and valour stand apart
Whom brutes sans traditions with their hands can’t touch.
All the victories Khilji got fell short
Before her win over the fire so much.

The God Blessed Wedding

The driver of our hired Tata Sumo
was enjoying sad Hindi songs,
be letting us to sip their music.
He stopped and got out at Soneprayag
and spoke to a Grandma.
A blooming girl with tousled hair
had a stroll out of her house,
casting a glance of gloom on him.

When the car began it’s course again
towards the Gourikund,
We saw the girl staid on a rock
as a statue drowned in tears.
The driver turned round his face towards her
and slowly curved it back.
I lost my patience and asked him
who she was to tell her tale in tears.
The young driver after a thought
struck up his story:
“I am from the plains
and she is the Seraph of these hills.
When I climbed to Kedarnath
on a pony five years back,
she was that animal driver,
trekking up and down on foot
and trekked into my heart as well.
I vowed to marry her
and take her to the plains.
I have worked hard ever since
to buy the things needed
and set sail in life.
Those in hills are poor
and so I give my bride my dowry
in the wedding fixed next week”.

All the hills rallied round
to wish them the best with us.
The peeping Sun between the peaks,
the rivulets scouring channels
down the high mountains
and Nature green breathing
with Her cool sweet breeze
blessed them for a blissful life.

Blue Mountain

We ran so fast
by a muzzling road
to Doddabetta,
the highest peak of Nilgiris.

The tallest peaks
turned to take a peep
at our boys ascending the hills
like the mounting clouds.

“Hey, our boys move and dance,
clap their hands and sing lovely songs;
catch the passing clouds in their palms,
fling themselves on the way
and into the world entrancing”.

We were looting at noon
the Ooty apples
and tootling into the sylvan glades
of the Botanical Gardens.

Oh, our boys in motor-boats
gore through the shining lake
in the midst of green vales around.
They go and go deep
into the far end of life
Where the angels drizzle
with their haply drops of tears.

Friendship

Friendship is the bond
that ties the nation together,
though the religions, races and castes
divide people to maul each other.

One should be ashamed of being friendless
in this world of Internet with billions
of human souls craving for mercy
and superbrains to share their knowledge.

A good friend make amends
to your weaker spots.
He does not see and relish,
when troubles nibble you.

Evil mates with maligning nature
must be given send-off in the bud.
Though noble friends are rare to get
don’t be hasty to move with the guile.

Descent friends don’t give tongues
to what they give at your dire need.
When some friends bite or suck’
forgive them and slowly rid of them.

Joy or sorrow, share it with close friends.
Be vary of friends who guzzle your womenfolk
with glances vile and lustful.
You had better keep ties with pets.

Meteoric rise of amity
vanishes as dark before the Sun.
Ripening alliances are epics
in many a case untold and unwritten.

Good friends never go out of your mind,
though you are miles and miles apart.
Even one of you should to heaven depart
Friendship lives in the living heart.

When you recall the deeds of your friends,
if your eyes are wet with tears
or a thankful stream gushes from your heart,
then they are the gems you’ve earned in life.