Poem by Anuradha Khandelwal
Ha ha ha ha ha!
Look at you Krishna!
…here you are…alone and forlorn
With no one jangling bells
Or blowing conch shells
No loudspeakers blaring bhajans
Or pundits singing your praises
Where are the crowds that jostled with each other?
To offer you flowers and light the divas?
And incense sticks?
Where is the aroma of sandalwood?
The smell of desi ghee wickers lighting up the dark space?
Where are the fruit laden thaalis? The chappan bhog?
The mithai as prasad?
All I see is darkness in your homes…
Stale flowers rotting
Diyas burnt out, no candles lit
And you have been on a fast since I came around…right?
Look at you…all you Gods! Your doors are shut
You reside in the dark
With not one human being coming to find out whether you are dead or alive.
The Mosques, the Mandir, the Girja ghars, the Gurdwaras, the this and that
All shut…and now
Look at me…a tiny speck
Not even visible to the naked eye
And yet, I am wreaking havoc on your worshipers
The rich, the poor
And all those in-between!
Look at my power…
I have brought countries to their knees
Kept babies away from the human touch
No one hugs anymore
No one goes forward to wipe a tear
Look you Gods! Look hard!
I have filled your people with hatred, fear and the smell of death
Save them…if you can!
All those who fought in your names
And killed each other in your names
Raped, maimed, burnt alive in your names
Come forward you Gods!
Come and save them
And Catch me if you can!
But wait ….
It seems I am being worshiped too
So will I now join your ranks too?
Krishna heard this outburst and he smiled, just smiled
Why are you smiling?
Because you know that, you can do nothing.
Add an ‘ish’ to my name and I become Krishna
Add two ‘o’s’ to your name
And you become Corona
So I just have to give you two zeros, to reduce you to zilch!
And yet you Smile?
I smile…because I look at you with pity
Your karma is evil…you steal the breath away of my people
Of all human beings
And, all evil must succumb some day or the other
I smile because even though every temple, mosque, church et al is closed
Every house has become a place of worship
Families pray together now
Talk to each other, eat together
See the magic of your evil?
It has brought humans together
Hatred has been forgotten
People are helping each other
Look around you…
Faith is still standing while everything crumbles
You mention that all the beautiful places of worship are worthless
But I never asked them to be built in the first place
Read the scriptures of every religion
No God has asked for millions as donation
No God has asked for structures
…all we have asked is be a good human being
Be kind, honest and do the right thing
That is all
All that mumbo jumbo is man’s interpretation
To suit his needs, to give him power over other humans
To rule, subjugate
We never asked for this ever!
Every once in a while
We have to shake up the humans
To shake them out of their greed
To make them realize that
They are not powerful enough
Teach them to respect the earth
Teach them to love Nature
And all creatures big and small
And we use whatever means we have…
And you Corona are just a means to make humans aware
So don’t challenge us
Just as you have come, so you will disappear
And the world will continue…
Those that have left the world, it’s their Karma
You do what you have to do Corona
It’s your Karma
And you will get your just rewards!
Poet Anuradha Khandelwal
is an alumna of the
Loreto Convent School