Why Ravana Went Wet this Dusshera

               by Badri Raina

 

I refuse, yes, refuse, this Dusshera

To burn  at your hands—

You  who deserve the burning more

Roundly than do I.

 

That is why the rains came, rendering

Your  self-righteous fire  limp

Among the multiplying perfidies

Of the day.  Come to think of it,

You do so get  away, year after sinful

Year, by simply taking it out on my effigy.

Your ritual ablution done, how you return

To  ungodly pillage and murders foul,

Hiding your evil under all kinds of cowl.

 

While I,  knowledgeable envy of the gods,

Never once touched that fair lady, 

Go count the rapes you commit, in city

And  town,  in home and workplace, field

And farmland, school and  dharamshala,

On  women,  strangers and kin,  and ages

Of  every definition from  infancy to

Vrid  avastha. 

 

Not a single citizen of my Lanka

Ever went hungry or ill, unlike your republic

Where  your grubby hands are always in the till

That  rightfully belongs to those millions

Who keep you  clean and  going, while

Without the least lajja, you preach

Of  Ram’s  love of his praja.

 

And,  I refuse, also because you who

Set me afire with glee  have not an iota

Of  the ngyan  I have  of life and death,

Heaven and earth, more than all your

Godmen  and charlatans of other hue

Put together. 

 

Thus  I take a stand; I refuse;

And  I advise that before the catastrophe

You breed every minute of every day

Crush you to smithereens of screaming

Sin,  go  feel your  so repugnant hypocrisy,

And  a  new life of self-knowledge begin.

This easy way out of burning my effigy

Once  each  rapacious year is running

Its course;  go among the suffering,

And their countless  agonies endorse

As a first step to viewing the real ravana

That   degrades  your  fallen eye, 

Slithers across your slick faces,

And  hides in your beard,

Then  fall at my feet and  learn

Of the truths  that even the gods

Acknowledged only I discern.

–November 24, 2012

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