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Draupadi

 


Dr. Nandini Sahu

Director & Professor of English

School of Foreign Languages

Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU)

New Delhi, India

 

 

Why is it that they tell me

I do look dignified

After such humiliations.

My life full of such trivialities.

I know this much,

I am in Arjuna, and he in me,

I am seeking release in the love of my lord-

Krishna;

And Karna- in a strange corner of my heart

One after another shock

Ensnaring me, like a China doll

 

I am not myself.

I am not alone Arjuna’s love,

Nor Krishna’s

Nor even Karna’s lone victim,

Nor the diadem-studded queen

None of these I am.

I embrace ‘all I bleed in ‘all’

In the ‘Kurusabha’

In my long clothes, my shame I armour spread-eagling in all.

 

This body I wear is not mine.

Like the expansive earth, it encompasses ‘all’

My five sons-

particles of my blood

I know not their roots. Yet I call them mine.

I bleed infinitely in the lost identity of ‘all’.

from my own ‘self’

In Krishna, in Arjuna, or in Karna (?)

In one,

Honestly I like to know

What it feels like

To be lost in one

To be absorbed wholesomely in ‘one’

 

This is Kurukshetra –

The land of half-humans, demi-gods:

On the blood-torn land

I cannot wait, nor can I cry aloud.

So my heart,

Like fire I play with you

Oh, fire!

I am fire,

I am born of fire, my life is fire,

I know not, if my death be fire too!!

 

Sycophants, one and all, encircle me

Sway and swindle me, sweltering my bones

As if tickling me

By putting one after another tiara on my head

Trying to heal my unlocked hairs – the

‘Kurukshetra’

of the Pandavas.

 

An illusion I am

I suffer, I am symbol of suffering

Even when I laugh with the cruel, heat blood

Of Dushasaa, I suffer.

And in the city of the dead

I die hundred times in delusion

I seek release, I know not where -
May be in all!!!