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


One of his uncles came home
When Venkataraman asked him
To know where from he came?
He replied, “From Arunachalam.”

When he asked his uncle again,
“Where is this Arunachalam?”
He said, “It’s at Tiruvannamalai.”
It sat deeply in his mind then.

His ailing father suddenly died,
When he was just 12 years old,
But he stood before the dead,
Not crying, but like a wood.

“Is death to the body itself?
Or even to the inside life? “
This thought was in his mind
When others openly cried.

He asked himself “Who am I?”
“Am I this body what I carry,
Or my life inside the body?”
This thought gave him worry.

On many days, alone he sat,
As dead man he began to act
To know what had happened,
To his life, when his body died?

His imaginary acting took him
To the query, “Who really I am?”
He was very active in sports,
But not so keen in his studies.

“How to go to Arunachalam?”
As he waited for a good time,
An opportunity really came
As if it was God’s gift to him.

Nagasami gave him five rupees,
For remitting his college fees,
But the boy took three rupees
Keeping back the two rupees

He also kept a letter saying,
“From the house I’m leaving
In search of my father’s life
As he left his body, not his life.”

As the money wasn’t sufficient
Half way he traveled by train
And some distance he walked,
*Here and there, begging for food.

For a sum of twenty rupees
He pledged his two ear rings
With an old lady of a house
To meet his way side expenses.

She also fed him sumptuously
Which he ate very happily
And also gave him a packet
Full of edibles on his way to eat.

At last, he reached the temple
At Tiruvannamalai, his final goal,
He stood, with tears in his eyes,
Before the Deity speechless.

Note:- *One of his forefathers refused to give food
to a hungry Sanyasi, who cursed that in every family
after him, one son will become a Sanyasi, who will
beg for his food. Perhaps this curse fell on this boy
to become a Sanyasi and beg for his food.


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