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


The Country Nitada’s greatness

Surrounded by deep oceans,
This world of many nations
Held ‘Nitada,’ Nalan’s Kingdom,
As the foremost among them.

The kingdom was full of riches.
Kayal fish jumped in its waters.
With honey, lotus buds bloomed.
Their petals, lily buds unfolded.

The entire kingdom appeared,
As if its land was blessed
By Lakshmi, Goddess of wealth,
And nothing was in dearth.

(Kayal fish = carp fish)

The Town Mavindam’s greatness

From the chests of young women
The herbal creams flowed down
Making the ground more slippery,
Adding to the streets, already marshy.

Even big elephants slipped,
There, while they walked.
Arts spread far and wide
Making it a town of pride.

The Buildings’ greatness

Among the town folks,
There spread wide talks,
That the smell of town’s air
Was very sweet and fair.

The air got its sweet smell
From the scented smoke well,
That went up from buildings,
With their own distinct flags.

The sweet smelling smoke rose
From the women’s wet hairs,
When dried up by the herbal smoke,
After the day’s bath they took.

The Citizens’ greatness

Only the bows, one could see
Bent in their forms, wherever be,
While the people’s unbent mind
Everywhere, one could find.

Tired women’s soft hairs,
Perhaps one may trace,
But not even a tired citizen,
Anywhere in that town.

If there were cries aloud,
It wasn’t by the people around,
But by the anklets of the maids
That made “Jal, Jal” sounds.

Any turbidity one could see,
Perhaps, in water it might be,
But not on the citizens,
The crystal clear persons.

No illiterates, None in wants

Many good literatures alone
Were visible in that town.
But what was not seen
Were the hips of maidens.

It may sound unreal,
But it was so real,
That no beggar was seen,
Nor even an illiterate person.

Muranai and Mavindam

Mavindam, Nalan’s Capital Town
Resembled the Muranai Town,
Ruled by Chandran Suvarki, the one
With his broad shoulders like iron.

There was one Nalan

In that Mavindam Town,
There was one Nalan,
With his army, the unbeatable
And to fight, the most capable.

As the lovelorn bee went
Behind Its chosen mate
None was there to drink
The honey that broke.

Those honey-drops fell down
O’er the breasts of women,
Who stood nearby there
Wetting them all over.

The honey from the garland
Like this, spread all around
The chest of great Nalan
An iron like strong man.

The Greatness of Nalan’s Rule

Pollen grains spilled down
From the garland of Nalan.
He was then very keen
In watching an unusual scene.

A natural enemy, vulture, forgot
And stayed with a green parrot,
A pet bird of every maiden,
Not separately, but in cage one.

His white royal umbrella shone,
Like that of the cool moon,
Under which he ruled the kingdom
With all his inborn wisdom.

Under his matchless rule,
The country flourished well.
In an extraordinary way,
He protected his country.

He went thro’ the streets

The joyful bees were drying
Their own drenched wings
After drinking the honey
From the sweet water-lily.

This kind of water source
King Nalan’s land did possess.
It was a place of beauty,
And things looked so pretty.

The beautiful eyes of girls,
And their jingling bangles,
Made visible their presence
In the garden full of flowers.

They were looking at Nalan,
Passing thro’ this garden,
And going into the street,
As a part of his usual visit.

The Spring Welcomed

The Jasmine creepers spread
O’er the stalk of millets dried
And kept alongside closely.
Its flowers appeared so lovely.

Amidst the sloping hills
King Nalan’s land fell.
With his sugarcane bow
Cupid incited the love.

The love brought the spring,
Adding beauty to everything.
Mild wind blew the flowers.
Like rains, they fell in the streets.

Out of fear for the sunrise,
The left over darkness
Hid itself behind the hills,
Awaiting the sun up the hills.

The black bees went around,
Repeatedly whistling their sound.
O’er the neat dresses of girls,
The dust of his chariot fell.

The flowers on their heads
Sprayed honey on the roads
And the dust settled back
Like water swept the track.

He passed thro’ like this
Many gardens and streets.
His chariot went on and on,
Till he reached the destination.

A Swan appeared

In that lovely flower garden,
The great beautiful Nalan,
Amidst lotus, saw a white swan,
Swimming in waters up and down.

It made the garden white
And the water red-bright
With its leg, red colored,
And its body, white, as it moved

“Catch it,” He said

The buffalo-herd entered
The thick sugarcane field,
Chewed tender sugarcanes
And spat the leftover wastes.

Such a land of plenty,
Grew itself in prosperity,
Watered by Ganges River,
That dried up never.

The king of this land, Nalan
Ordered a servant maid then
“Oh maiden, go there,
And bring that swan here.”

Caught and brought

Many maid servants ran,
In circle, to catch the swan.
They, with their thick-long hairs,
Swarmed it like a group of peacocks.

At last they caught the swan,
And placed it before Nalan,
With all their due respect,
Having done a thrilling act.

Regret and worry

The choicest bangles, they wore,
When they brought it to the shore
And placed it before Nalan,
An errand successfully done.

It regretted for separation
From its close kith and kin,
And was worried more
On seeing King Nalan there.

Do not fear, Oh swan

Around Nalan’s garland
For honey bees swarmed.
On its face, Nalan saw fear
And he gently went near.

“Oh beautiful swan, have no fear,”
Said Nalan, “I got you here
To find, whose walk is the best,
Yours or the maidens’, just”

Worry disappeared

The maid, who brought it,
So resembled, in fact,
Like Lakshmi, the Goddess,
Who was sitting on a lotus.

On the soft words of Nalan,
It got rid of its worry then
That no intention he had
Of killing the innocent bird.

Dhamayanthi most suitable

The swan revealed then,
“In all the eight directions,
As a chariot king, far and wide,
Indeed your fame has spread.”

“A faultless angel-like lady,
Dhamayanthi, has a slender body
And bamboo-like thin shoulders
Befit your strong shoulders.”

Whose daughter she is?

The moment he heard,
What the swan said,
In his imaginary world
She had already entered.

Also Cupid’s arrow fell
On Nalan like a spell.
He asked the bird like this,
“Whose daughter she is?”

Daughter of Vidharba’s King

“Oh King, you can win
Even a pillar made of iron
With your strong shoulders,
Sure, it is no wonder.”

“When farmers till the soil,
They step over lilies and spoil
The flowers full of honey,
That, in turn, becomes muddy.”

“The great Vidharba king’s hand
Virtually rules this fertile land.
His daughter is Dhamayanthi
A symbol of matchless beauty.”

A majestic woman

‘Shy, tender, fear, disgust’
Are a woman’s four traits
‘Body, mouth, eye, nose, ear,’
Five senses, ministers they are.”

“The anklets give away noise
Like that of beating drums.
The looks of the eyes
Are sharp like swords.”

“Her face is like the moon.
Under an umbrella open,
She sits like a royal queen,
Which’s a magnificent scene.”

Her crying anklets

“Her tender fattened waist
Knocked her budding breasts.
Her sagging tinkling anklets,
Weighing heavily, cried always.”

Her sagging waist

“Oh King, a conqueror
Of seven worlds, please hear,
A slim waist she has
But unshakable it is.”

“Even the six legged bee
Cannot move it free,
With the air from its wings
Around her while moving.”

A place for sharpening arrow

“Cupid kept aside his bow,
And sharpened the arrow,
At a suitable place,
For its ready use.”

“Like the sweet honey
She talks so nicely.
Her face, below the hair,
Like a crescent, looks fair.”

To think of, life faints

“When I think of her,
My life faints here.
Tell me, how you’re
Connected with her?”

“Please let me know.
What all you know
In detail,” asked Nalan
Expecting its reply soon.

Went to learn walking

“Cupid saw her sharp eyes
And made several tries
To learn the art from her
How to fight in the war.”

“Though we’re birds,
About her walk, we heard,
And went there to learn
How to walk like a maiden.”

“We were very close always,
To the servant of her palace,
Who moved like peacocks,
Playing with the princess.”

My life is, as you say

What all the swan said
King Nalan carefully heard.
His heart beat violently.
He was almost shaky.

In the burning fire of love
He took a plunge now.
Whatever be his shyness,
Slowly he began to lose.

“My life is, as you say,
And you’ll from this day
Tell me more about her,”
Nalan told it thereafter.


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