a poem by Rajaram Ramachandran, India - poetry writer, author, poet


Chandramathi had a doubt,
How her master would react,
If the required fees she asked
To pay in the graveyard.

Some thieves killed
The Kasi King’s child
Threw away the dead
On the road side.

She saw this dead body,
Mistook it for her boy,
Thinking that some ghost
Would have thrown it.

She kept it on her lap
Loudly began to weep
That attracted passersby
Who showed their sympathy.

But the guards caught her,
And repeatedly bet her,
Thinking she had killed,
For jewels, the king’s child.

“It’s not at all worth
Now to tell the truth,
As none would take it
Even I had said that.”

She thought like this,
And uttered some lies,
That a devil she was
Eating the dead corpse.

Out of her frustration,
She took this decision,
As she wished to join
Her son in the heaven.

The guards dragged her
And then tied her near
The palace main gate
To decide on her fate.

The king, again and again,
Asked her for the reason.
She told, “I liked to eat
The child’s tender meat.”

“I’m a devil with an appetite
For eating any child’s meat.
So, I killed your son
For the same reason.”

From her innocent look
The minister never took
Her for a murderess
But a woman in distress.

The guards maintained
That she only killed
The innocent child
As she had admitted.

“Find out other foot prints
If any, leaving her prints,
To know none was there,
At that time, excepting her.”

Like this, when the king said,
Viswamithra, by magic, erased
All the other foot prints
Barring her foot prints.

The guards told the fact
For the king to react.
He still held a doubt,
That she was innocent.

“If she’s not the killer,
I cannot kill her.
If she’s the killer,
I cannot leave her.”

In this dilemma he was.
What was the real cause?
He couldn’t reason it out.
Next day, he decided it.

He ordered the executioner
Veeravagu, the owner
Of the graveyard
To cut off her head.

On the way to graveyard
Some pitied and talked:
“Like moon she has her face,
And her hands like lotus stems.”

“Will such a woman kill?
We don’t think she will.”
They bet their head
Aloud they all cried.

Some said, “She must
Be the killer worst
From her confession
And her own admission.”

To the graveyard, she was led
Harichandran recognized
Her as Chandramathi
And showed her pity.

She consoled him
Again this time
To do his duty
Without any pity.

As a sincere executioner
Harichandran took her
To the city’s outskirt,
Passing street after street.

Viswamithra came
There right in time.
He advise Harichandran
Not to remain stubborn.

He insisted, “It’s not late
Even now, if you admit
You’ll get back your freedom
And also the lost kingdom.”

“The dead will come alive
And happily you’ll live.
This last chance I give,
I hope, you’ll receive.”

They rejected his offer.
Death, she did prefer.
He showed no interest
For the lands in the least.

Having lost his face,
Viswamithra left the place.
Indran confirmed the defeat.
Of the Sage, who went in retreat.

Harichandran prayed God.
And Chandramathi her husband,
As for the wife, her God
Was her respected husband.

He held the sword high,
To behead her, he did try,
But as a garland it fell
Around her neck well.


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