FORGIVEN VENOM

FORGIVEN
            VENOM poetrybattles stories
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soulstitch_04
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Autoplay OFF   •   a year ago
My entry for PoetryBattles Round 4. An attempt to be the voice of a less-celebrated character from the 7000-year old Indian epic “Ramayana”. There’s a brief backstory at the start, for those new to this saga. Thank you :)

FORGIVEN VENOM

“As birds are made to fly, and rivers to run, so the soul to follow duty”

“As birds are made to fly, and rivers to run, so the soul to follow duty” These words are a rough translation of the central theme of the 7000-year old Sanskrit Indian epic “Ramayana”.

Elegantly composed by the great sage Valmiki and believed to have taken place in the Treta Yuga, this saga comprises not only the essence of mythology, but also the need to uphold Dharma or righteousness, through selfless sacrifices for the greater good of self and society.

A vibrant and touching tale whose legends span several other Asian countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Nepal, etc., Ramayana’s true-to-life characters greatly impact readers/viewers around the globe.

While the prime protagonists Lord Rama and Devi Sita, along with many other noteworthy characters, are celebrated for their virtues, various other important ones are often forgotten, or even resented for their not-so-righteous actions in the plot of the epic.

So here, I choose Kaikeyi, most beloved queen of King Dashrath and chief conspirator who schemes to banish the elder brother Rama to a 14-year exile and make her son Bharat the king of Ayodhya.

Hated by her husband, even her son Bharat, and the subjects as a whole, she realises the futility of her avarice as her years pass in desolation. She’s consumed by guilt and remorse, until she is forgiven by the merciful Rama, who never blamed her, but loved her more than his own mother, Koushalya.

This poem is thus, an attempt to envision Kaikeyi’s transformation as she turns from a loving mother to a heartless conspirator under the evil influence of a bent servant named Manthara( who is forgiven in the end as well ), and also how the mere act of forgiveness makes her see the truth- Nothing is above duty.

I bound time in chains of want

I bound time in chains of want and raced against virtue to enslave victory.

I bound time in chains of want and raced against virtue to enslave victory. I was a human then

I bound time in chains of want and raced against virtue to enslave victory. I was a human then, blinded by desire

I bound time in chains of want and raced against virtue to enslave victory. I was a human then, blinded by desire, embraced by stain.

Many monuments have I plundered

Many monuments have I plundered and in vanity never blundered.

Many monuments have I plundered and in vanity never blundered. The ruins were my crown then.

Many monuments have I plundered and in vanity never blundered. The ruins were my crown then. I wore them in glory

Many monuments have I plundered and in vanity never blundered. The ruins were my crown then. I wore them in glory, in guilt and in pain.

I have drunk from many ponds

I have drunk from many ponds and polluted their flowers and fish.

I have drunk from many ponds and polluted their flowers and fish. I welcomed the snake venom

I have drunk from many ponds and polluted their flowers and fish. I welcomed the snake venom then, to sow awe

I have drunk from many ponds and polluted their flowers and fish. I welcomed the snake venom then, to sow awe, to plough fear among men.

Yes, I married vice, darkened many nights

Yes, I married vice, darkened many nights, yet I was afraid of the dark.

Yes, I married vice, darkened many nights, yet I was afraid of the dark. I had become an animal then

Yes, I married vice, darkened many nights, yet I was afraid of the dark. I had become an animal then, with nothing to lose

Yes, I married vice, darkened many nights, yet I was afraid of the dark. I had become an animal then, with nothing to lose but the world to gain.

I now bleed through my sins

I now bleed through my sins, for my enemy has lost yet won.

I now bleed through my sins, for my enemy has lost yet won. I have won and lost

I now bleed through my sins, for my enemy has lost yet won. I have won and lost time and again

I now bleed through my sins, for my enemy has lost yet won. I have won and lost time and again, still humanity clouds my eyes

I now bleed through my sins, for my enemy has lost yet won. I have won and lost time and again, still humanity clouds my eyes as I walk alone in the rain.

My crime was blessed and forgiven

My crime was blessed and forgiven, still the cold walls fell in on me.

My crime was blessed and forgiven, still the cold walls fell in on me. So, I who preferred poison then

My crime was blessed and forgiven, still the cold walls fell in on me. So, I who preferred poison then without knowing it

My crime was blessed and forgiven, still the cold walls fell in on me. So, I who preferred poison then without knowing it have lived in vain.

Sipping sinful pain, I shall

Sipping sinful pain, I shall only wait to die in vain.

Thank you for reading.

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