NN13. LOST IN GAMBLE

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

KING NALAN

Minister advised

“You’re aware, it’s a sin,
Loving any other woman,
Or gambling, or drinking liquor,
Or telling lies, or preventing a donor”

Never wise men do

“The world’s code of conduct
Will it not uproot and throw out?
To them, hell is the only place.
One may gain stake, but lose grace.”

“Virtuous deeds will disappear.
Evil actions will appear.
Will any wise individual
Touch this cruel gamble?”

Wise men never gamble

“It’ll destroy body strength,
As well as status and truth,
Also the hard earned wealth,
Besides self-respect and health.”

“Friendship will never remain.
Such evils are many, not one.”
Like this, in many words
His ministers advised.

Criminal he was

“The hands that touch dices,
Or, other prostitution-vices,
Are the worst criminals,
Says the moral scriptures.”

Nalan’s decision

Nalan did not heed
To all the wise words.
“I shall keep up my word,”
This way, he replied.

“Let good may come,
Or bad may come,
Do not prevent me.
But you’ll allow me.”

What is the stake?

Pushkaran asked, “Oh Nalan,
If you’re serious, then
What is your stake
For this gambling sake?”

He staked jewel

Nalan said, “My stake is
This jewel made of gems.
Mine I told you, yes,
Tell me, what’s yours?

Pushkaran replied him,
“I shall offer this time,
My elephant as stake.
Now this dice, let us take.”

Kali turned the dice

The shape of a dice,
Kali took in a trice.
In favour of Pushkaran
The dice took its turn.

Nalan lost the stake

Pushkaran said, “I’ve won.
What’s your next one?
Like this the game went on.
It was a total loss for Nalan.

First thousand gold coins
Next double those coins
In thousands, like this
Nalan lost all the coins.

Lost four kinds of army

He lost horses in thousands,
Chariots in tens of thousands,
Numerous elephants, both males
And other fighting ones.

Maids he lost

“What next?” Pushkaran asked.
Nalan staked all the maids.
When the dice was cast,
This chance too he had lost.

Goddess of wealth joined.

Lakhmi had to leave Nalan
In the end, she had to join
The side of Pushkaran
What a tragic situation?

Stake your wife

Pushkaran said, “You’ve lost
Everything now except
Your wife to be staked,
Place her as the last stake.”

It is enough

Poor Nalan now realised.
Further play, he stopped.
“No more stake to play.
Here, let us not stay.”

He told his wife like this.
He lost his royal face
In this game of dice
It was too late to realise.


NN12. KALI ARRIVED
KING NALAN
NN14. LEFT THE COUNTRY SCENE

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