Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Raga


The bittersweet lingering of filter coffee in my tongue
and the incessant noises of a hot humid Indian city
are all I remember of our first meeting-
the other memories washed away
by the dirt and grime
of daily life.

For long I had not noticed you enough
to even take you for granted.
But unknowingly I searched
for you in song after
song, in vain.

And many years later, our love rediscovered
you stood before me like Lord Krishna*-
your innumerable faces glowing
with inexplicable grace.

I had thought you were a mere construct,
To force order in the random, to impose
the strict boredom of regularity.

But now I stand before your infinite greatness
unbounded by notes but binding.

Today, I discover you as the universe-enveloping

Consciousness.

--


Note:
  1. This poem is about my discovery of the beauty of raga(m)s in Carnatic music. Of course, I am treating the concept of raga(m) as one entity here, which might be arguable. But in tribute to her beauty (or should I say their?), I have tried a new rhythm/meter :)
  2. I dedicate this poem to the many many teachers who have tried to force some essence of music into my unrelenting head. Especially one of them who taught me enough to inspire this poem and who played a major part in my experience of the beauty I just mentioned. Thank you!
  3. *The reference to Lord Krishna is the scene where he takes vishwaroopa(m) in front of Arjuna on the battlefield.

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