Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Gods above us

By Badri Raina

They had great faith in the gods
Dotting the hills and dales—
Those men and women who
Are now corpses.

Yet, not one among those that
Survived was heard to say
“The gods govern our conditions;
Not the government, not the builders,
Not the hoteliers, not the miners—
None of these are responsible, since
God willed it so.”

All of their moaning suggested
How unstuck they were with the gods
They believed in.
Of all the tangled flesh and bone
That lay mangled among the rubble,
One corpse stood out:

Bang in the sanctum sanctorum,
This young man, dead and askew,
Had open eyes full of consternation
Fixed searingly upon the god-in-chief.
It was as though in his moment
Of dying, his amazement at the deity’s
Uncaring repose was too much to hide.
He might have been thinking, “How
Could you let this happen?”

The bold accusation in his eyes,
Resentfully alive in his death,
Waits for answer.


ML Raina said...

Never an earnest believer,my gods died when I saw my wife struck with a wasting disease for no fault of hers.The yatris died because they put too much faith in their gods. In the final analysis,gods have always betrayed us and made us think our trials are our own doing. All I can say is what another poet said: khudawanda, tere yeh sada dil bande kidhar jayen /ki. Darweshi bhi ayari hai,sultani bhi ayari.

Final Placements 09 said...

Beautiful poem by sir raina, I was dumbstruck at a popular comment by survivors – ‘I am lucky to be saved by god’ – the simple reasoning implies , the others were killed by god. But I think it is little naïve to realise and submit the non-existence of a non-entity on such reasoning- cosmological or teleological . This empty signifier ‘god’ rests on configuration and constitution of humans, living in a fantasy- an escape from an inaccessible void (a paradox though),,,the lacanian REAL.