Poem by Dr. Ranjana Sharan Sinha
The Grey Horizon
I come to Benaras
On the bank of the Ganges,
With an urn in my hands
Containing your mortal remains:
My siblings and I with tearful eyes
Stand motionless in a sea of sorrow!
O my father, my dear father!
You are no more with us,
High in the sky reach lamentations
The boatman’s song is sad,
The river remainas ready for sessions,
The oar touches the water cold.
The kingfisher with its stubby tail
And blue, orange plumage,
The long-legged heron and its boat bill
Fail to invite my attention!
I look at the timeless holy river
Silver, vast, and deep,
The boat sails slowly, slowly,
Soon the ash is immersed, oh!
The sky remains in a deep sleep!
For hours I sit on the bank
Looking at the expanse of sand:
The day slips into an evening!
The truth naked in semi darkness:
We mortals with feeble power
In a transient world of emptiness!
The sky turns salmon- pink,
The colour seeps into the horizon
Summoning the bright sun,
But it doesn’t dispel the darkness
Enveloping my heart and mind–
I feel forlorn in the magic city!
Cargoes of memories come —
Ah, the years morphed into past!
With you my visits to Benaras:
Golden threads of childhood!
Holding your hand I enjoyed
So many places mesmsrised:
A splurge of traditional charms
In the crowded Vishwanath lane,
Enamoured by beads and shells
I feasted my eyes on them!
You could read my fascination,
And the very next day those
Sweet things were gifts from you!
On the streets of Benaras,
I listened to you spellbound–
The mystery of the city deepened,
My curiosity soared quite high!
The oldest living city with a
When Athens was growing in
Before Rome had become
Known to the world,
Or Greece had contended with
Kasi had risen to greatness on
The home of Lord Shiva–
The great Vishwanath
Adorned with flowers and
holy bilva leaves,
Ganga– reminiscent of
The pious beauty of the river
Quite early in a moment enchanted–
Countless domes, temples,
minarets of mosques,
Boats on the tranquil river until
The ghats erupt into a riot of
colour and activity
With river breaking up the Sun’s
Golden reflection in the water!
The magical sweeping stairs
Plunging into the Ganges
Crowded by devotees eager to
take a dip;
The beautiful crescent sweep
Of the river towards the north
From the western bank– Like the
White moon pinned to
Lord Shiva’s lock!
Out of my reverie, the sorrow
Benaras without you gives me
The heartache, no one can heal,
But in my memories I’ll feel you
Every moment, every day!
The years spent with you Becomes invaluable, a treasure
Too precious to forget!
Copyright@Ranjana Sharan Sinha