Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Gopala Came to Me, I Slept…

My hair I shred, my blouse I tear,
My breasts I beat, I wail in grief.
Gopala graced my humble hut
And I… I lay asleep!

My lover hugged me in my bed
Cupping these breasts of mine.
With whispered words and gentle love
He sought to break my sleep.
But I… I heard him not! Oh woe!
I lay there like a corpse!
Dreaming all night of Gopala
I dreamt all night of love!
I wake to find my Lord had
Lain with me all night in bed.
Oh! Blessed am I! Ah! Cursed am I!
I weep, I beat my head.
His footprints at the door are there,
Bedsheets are all askew.
My Lord, witness my breasts and hair,
My shame! O Lord, I grieve!

[Footnote: To understand the essence of this poem, please think in the context of the gopis of Brindavan waiting, hoping, praying for a nightly visit from their divine Gopala. Assume the mindframe of a lone gopi who unsuccessfully tried to stay awake for her chance to be with her lover god.]
P Nayak is reminded of Meerabai’s bhajan:
palka par sovat kamini re
gyaan dhyaan sab peehu sang laagi
pal mein lag gayi palkan mori
neechat hi pal mein piya aayo
main jo utthi piya aadar dene
jaag padi piya haath na aayo
aur sakhi piya so kar khoya
main apna piya jaagi gawayo …..

I first wrote and posted this on June 10, 2007. This is a repost.

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