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Krishna & Corona in conversation

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!

And Krishna…smiled.


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Poet Anuradha Khandelwal

is an alumna of the

Loreto Convent School

Shillong

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