NN30. CHILDREN AND FATHER

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

KING NALAN

Entered the kitchen

Nalan untied the horses
And took them for rests.
He entered the royal kitchen
To cook food for his king then.

(Perhaps a custom for a king
to have food from his own cook
wherever he went for
self-protection)

Without filling filled

When he went inside the kitchen,
With no effort of his own,
Everything got itself cooked.
By Devas’ boon, he once received.

Know and come

Wise Dhamayanthi sent
Her clever maid at night
To find out from the cook
Some items, how to cook?

Sent her son and daughter

Her daughter and son
She sent them to Nalan
To find out how he felt
And to know the result.

Whose children?

Nalan hugged them
Tight in his bosom
Like his own he felt.
He tried to find out.

“How nice you’re!
Whose children you’re?
With all his affection
He put this question.

They said, we’re the children
Of Nalan, who went out alone.
Our land is ruled by another man,
And not by our father, Nalan.”

Stood almost lifeless

When the cook Nalan heard
What the children said
He stood almost lifeless,
And shed his tears.

Disgraceful act

“Oh prince, your kingdom
Is ruled by another king.
You left your own city,
And live in this city.”

“Don’t you feel it
A disgraceful act
To live like that?
I feel so, in fact.”

Truth is strength

The prince replied,
“Oh cook, you said
Those words impertinent
As an inferior servant.”

“To keep up his words
My father went to woods.
Truth is strength, he knows.
That’s how his life goes.”

Scars on the feet

“The scars on his feet
Many you can count.
In his fight with kings
He had these things.”

Bowed his head

Nalan bowed his head
And to the prince said,
“Cooks does not know
What the kings know.”

Dhamayanthi got the truth

Dhamayanthi’s maid revealed
What all between them happened.
When she knew he was Nalan
She cried and fell down.

Cried out in despair

In despair, she cried out,
And she had this doubt
How ugly he became
As a cook when he came.

“Did the smoke cause it?
Did the heat change it?
What a royal face he had?
How it turned now bad?”

NN29. IN THE CITY OF VIMARASAN
KING NALAN
NN31. FAMILY UNITED

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