Ignis Shattered by Vishwa Mohan Tiwari, AVM (Retd) SignUp
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Ignis Shattered
by Vishwa Mohan Tiwari, AVM (Retd) Bookmark and Share
 

A Translation of the Hindi Play "Khand Khand Agni"

Characters

(Abstract)
Announcement
Profundis
Ignis
Joy
Information
Faith
Suspicion
Curiosity
Responsibility
Earth 

(Real)
Rama
Sita
Hanuman
Sarama - wife of Vibhisana
Laksamana
Sugriva 

(Note)
Announcement, Profundis, Ignis, Joy, Information, Curiosity, Faith, Responsibility, Earth and Suspicion are such characters that are not visible to the other characters.) 

(Fanfare of the announcer can be heard from a distance. It rises and then fades. Ms. Announcement enters the stage from one side and goes and stands in the corner on the other side. And from that side only Mr. Profundis, dressed in black clothes comes and stands in the same corner with his back towards the audience.)

Focus on Announcement

Announcement : (Delighted)
The victor is Rama!
Sacrificing sleep, bridging the sea
Rama's vow has been vindicated
Victor is Rama's determination.
Harken ye all!
Joy and Sorrow, time and timeless
Living and non-living, all ye
Listen to me. I the Announcement
Ravana's sovereignty has ended

(She looks at Profundis. Focus gradually is centered on Profundis. Profundis is looking grim)

Profundis : (Satirically)
Only sovereignty, did you say?
Only Sovereignty?
Choose some other word dear friend
Some other word.
Really! can't you see
This desolate Lanka
Lying in ruins
Holding its head in its hands
Wordless?

Announcement : (In solemn tone)

Yes! Lanka is lying desolate
In profound silence.
And me?
I have to go on announcing all the time
Roar every moment like the sea.
I just cannot be silent like the sand on the shore.
Can I?
I have but to announce.
Whenever, whatever the victor desires
I have to announce
Nobody I am
On my own
I am mere announcement.

Profundis : And I? (Being very serious)

Submerged in deep silence
Am I just the glow-less carcasses of fallen warriors?
Or am I the stunned silence
Deep in the hearts of Ravana's maid?
Or the tranquility of ecstasy
On Sita's countenance?
What has given me these forms?

Announcement : (Being glad)

Yes! Sita too may listen
(notices stillness all around)
Perhaps Sita only may listen.
Rama has been the victor in the war.
I am no illusion
Evidence of the humiliating defeat of Ravana
Is the desolation all around.

Profundis : (Becoming grave)

Ya
And I am a witness
I have seen guffaws changing into
Utter silence and turning into me
Victor has been Rama and myself too
Agitated inside he may be
But the flag of silence is flying
over Rama
I know, perhaps only I know,
What turmoil has
Confounded Rama.
Moments back fully immersed in war
Was his entire self.
I have seen Rama, since
Going to pieces.....pieces. 

Announcement : And Sita?

(Announcement slowly retreats from the stage. Profundis absorbed in himself)

Profundis : (Thinking)

Who has ever been able to understand me
To reach my depth
Except the one whom I submerge
Perhaps not even he.
Dead silence is reigning over Lanka.
The jubilation of Rama's camp
can be heard even up to this place 

(Sound of jubilation camp)

But what about Sita?
Is Sita also really silent?
But why should I Taciturn by nature
Like the deep silence
Of a clouded mystery
Have to remain silent
With my lips sealed.

(With a start)

Where has Announcement gone?
Perhaps gone far away.
On achieving the aim
How meaningless does the striving become.
Or perhaps meaningless becomes
Even the striver.
But the attainment?

(Tone filled with irony and pessimism)

Attainment only is sung
And carried on shoulders like a victor
As if the results only matter
And abandoned in a corner is the striving
Like common men, humiliated.

Profundis : (Facing the audience)

How happy is Ms. Announcement
Gone away
Gone far away again like a submerged thought.
Bound we are by duty
Our culture is to do
Questions we are not.
How happy is Announcement!
O ! would go and look for her.
Must have gone to Rama's camp How happy is Announcement

(Goes away)

(Light spreads slowly on the stage and after a few moments the light of fire spreads on the whole stage. IGNIS (God of fire) is seen worried and oppressed by questions. Music also provides the effect)

Ignis : Fire I am
Not the anchorman who holds the thread
Reduced to just a character I am
I am god, the Fire god, in the eyes of people.
Ancient history has deified me.
I am as old as the Vedas
Since millennia I have been worshipped
I have been honored not just as a purifier
But also as a standard bearer of purity
I am the canonical testifier.
Don't know if it is
Reverence of the people
On my character
Which does not let me fall
From the high pedestal of glory
But
Only I know
When controlled by the powers that be
My role becomes
A curse to me

(Overwhelmed by questions. With eyebrows knit)

I hear
An allegation that Sita is not beyond suspicion
What a test of mine it is?
Not mere fire I am
I am also Swaha's* husband
What will Swaha think Wouldn't she condemn me
That daughter of Prajapati the Creator?
Could I look straight into those eyes
Burning brighter than fire

(Disturbed)

Off!
What a test of me it is!
I would be required to conduct
A fire-test
On a person as pure as myself.
No, it is true
I am free to announce my judgment
But mere thought of
Passing an innocent through a burning fire

*Svaha: That fire of a yajna (fire for worship) which is invoked by priests for conveying their offerings to different gods disturbs my very godliness

(In a frustrated tone)

Alas! I am not the anchor
In this play
I am reduced to a mere character
Let me go
I will have to come again
A character I am, a mere character
How I wish I could intervene
In this play
For the time being I have to burn
Only burn.....in roaring flames.

(Ignis goes away. Light also fades away on the stage. No sound of any kind)

(Rama's camp. Celebrations and jubilation are going on all over)

(A chorus)

Hail Rama Hail Rama
Victory be to king Rama
Congratulations congratulations
Victory be to king Rama
We have won, you have won,
Victory be to king Rama
What would have been
Sans Rama on the scene
Misery would have carried on
Ravana's serfs we'd have been
We the food 'n' he the glutton
Hail Rama! Hail Rama!
Victory be to king Rama
We have won 'n' you have won
Victory be to king Rama
Usurper of Sita, what a demon
And Rama taught a worthy lesson
Duty of a husband he performed
Sita the fiddle was unchained
Like a commoner he is not
Incarnation of the kind god
Hail Rama! Hail Rama!
Victory be to king Rama
We have won 'n'you have won
Victory be to king Rama

(Rama pensive in solitude. Profundis and Announcement in hiding)

Rama : (In seclusion, on the horns of dilemma)

No! No!
I cannot be high and mighty above the public
I am not an exception, I have no doubt
But I accept, I confess
I am on the horns of dilemma.
I am not just an individual Nor can I be indifferent
I am the public
The repository of ethics too.
Rama is a society too
Although by birth a body
Rama cannot be treated as an individual
Perhaps that is why
I am respected as a God too

(Profundis and Announcement in hiding talk in low tones)

Profundis :(Satirically)

Announcement! Did you hear?
Did you listen to what Rama was saying?
Could you understand him?
But how could you listen?
Announcing only is your duty after all
You are a chatter-box
Aren't you!

(Laughs, becomes sober)

But I am the one
Who can hear
Voices in the very depth of any person.
Deep thought I am
I am Profundis
The more intense I get
The deeper I descend
The more transparent is the person to me.
I have heard the poignant
voice of Rama's heart
That is being scraped by every breath
Like the body of a dry bamboo.

(Grimacing)

Uhoo,
Rama has no individual reference
Says king Rama!

Announcement :(innocently)

But, I didn't hear anything
Nor has anything new been conveyed to me.
Has something been hidden from me?
Listening to you, why am I getting apprehensive?
Why is my enthusiasm waning?
Come accept it,
Confess that you are envious.
But you, why are you so indifferent
At this moment when there is
Joy all over
Why are you looking like
An ominous wretch?

(Getting serious with a bit of fright)

I have seen you Profundis, I have seen you
The more silent you became
The more entangled did become
The fog around the trees
And thicker the dust covering paths.
How difficult it has become for me
To perceive and to announce?

Rama : (In seclusion)

Rama is not a husband only
He is also a living tradition
And neither just a tradition
He is the society in toto
Rama is personification of ideals
Faith of the Universe.

(Looking here and there)

Yes, Rama is the society in toto.
If someone is dumbfounded on hearing
Then let him be
Rama is also a family
If someone is confused
Even that is acceptable to Rama.

(Pause)

Rama cannot be dichotomized
At times an individual
Society at another.
Even if Sita is beyond suspicion
Ravana is always
Under doubt.
These masses which look
Like quiet waves on a calm sea
Are indeed bound
By chains of the rules.
Soon as a rule appears to be broken
They would pounce upon and crush
The present.
Cry out they will and point
The accusing finger

(Firmly, but also with a slight feeling of guilt)

No!
Rama the king cannot accept
Sita without a fire-test.

Profundis :(With hands covering his ears, in despair)

No!No!No!
I am not ears.
I am just a situation
I do not hear anything
I do not want to hear anything.
But, how unfortunate I am
I have to hear the person
From deeper than deep inside
And evaluate him.
Time-bounded may be the masses
I am beyond time

(Joy enters from one side. All lights focused on Joy. The scene is 'Asoka Vatika'. Joy is in a happy mood.)

Joy : Joy I am
I have heard Ms. Announcement
Joy I am

(Looking all around)

Sing the song of victory today one and all.
Rama has won the war.
Break this stunned silence
You heard haven't you
Rama has fulfilled the pledge
He has liberated Sita, bridging the sea You have heard haven't you
Sita's husband is the victor.

Sita!
The one aspiring for her husband's victory

(Focus again on Profundis)

Profundis :(perplexed)

Ugh!
Why don't I become deaf

(Both hands towards the ground. Extending his arms towards the pool of lights)

Come O Ocean! come
Drown me in your roar
Turn me deaf like a sage in meditation
Turn me deaf as a self engrossed king.
What kind of role is this for me?
How powerless have I become
The very strength drained out.

(Holding his forehead, kneels down. Darkness on the stage. Enters Information.)

Information : (In a mood of despair and sadness)

Yes, I am powerless
Powerless like a slave
Can't revel calling it a good fortune
Information I am ' autonomous

(Ironical laughter)

Autonomous Ha Ha Ha (guffaw)

(Becomes sad and serious. In a mysterious tone)

Only just as autonomous
As my master desires

(Looks towards Rama ' a faint smile on her lips)

Rama :(In seclusion. Pensive)

May be I am a god
Omniscient
And all that
But, no one can hide his person
If he stands in front of a mirror
The face is clearly visible
In still waters.
Purusottama the noblest I may be
Yet I am a man
Down to the deepest self
How do I accept Sita?
Sita is not an object, is she?
Nor a treasure
Nor a weapon
Nor land * even

Information : (Disinterest and irony)

Information I am
Autonomous (guffaws)

I am not Ms. Announcement
I am Ms Information ' impartial
I am neither joy nor sadness
A blank face I am
Ejecting words

(Facing the audience)

I know
The effect of a statement
I know
Which matter is appropriate at which place
And at what time.
But, I am the Information '
I am not to think at all.
I have to strangle my knowledge myself

*Sita is also believed to be the daughter of Mother Earth.

When Ms information is paraded as
Ms. Information.
I am mere Information
Who has no autonomy, no autonomy at all.

Rama : (In seclusion with a feeling of helplessness)

Ah!
How pleasant it is
To be busy in action
How pleasant is
The struggle to achieve the aim
And how difficult the
Moment of Decision.
This introspection
This turmoil inside me
Could it be a premonition
Of a crime going to be committed?
Could it be an escape
From the halo of Sita

(As if recovering from a shock)

No No
What path is this that I have taken
Negative
I perceive
I see faces

(Waving his hand all around)

Sitting on the throne I see faces
Though not manifest
But why do I feel
As if they all are Rama only.
No
Sita is no commoner
Future empress she is
She is 'news'.
No such person
Who is news basically
Can just be
A commoner

(pensive)

I will have to make preparations again
I shall have to fight a war again
How unfortunate is Rama!
This tranquil, sobs Purusottama, most exalted
How unfortunate is he
Who has to keep on fighting wars
On the ground or in the mind,
Who has but to fight wars
And remain tranquil and without turmoil too
I will have to prepare myself
For an unfamiliar role.

Information : (Dismayed and serious) 

But my role is well defined,
isn't it,
Since information is what I am?
I take leave
Let me see
What information is Hanuman
Conveying to Sita

(With a crooked smile towards the audience)

May it be remembered
Autonomous I am
Only to the extent
Any master desires.

(Darkness on the stage)

{Asoka Vatika; Raksasis* standing, Vibhisana's wife Sarama (well wisher of Sita, though a Raksasi) is also present. Hanuman, with folded hands, is standing in front of Sita. Standing in a corner is Joy}

Hanuman : (Very humbly)

Mother!
We are blessed
Sri Rama has been victorious!
We are free.

(Boundless joy on Sita's face but maintaining silence)

Joy : (softly)

Joy I am
That silence
Just an ecstasy of mine only
Joy I am.
I am the tide
In Sita's heart
Blessed I am
I grow
As the heart perceives
Sita's countenance
I will restrain myself, I will restrain.

(Makes a gesture as if restraining Sita from the state of ecstasy. Goes away)

*Raksasis =Demoness

Sita : (Being happy, with satisfaction)

Then, the announcement was not an illusion, Hanuman!
You are the cosmic evidence.
I knew
Rama shall be the victor
I never accepted defeat
My heart knows.

Hanuman 

You are the guiding star Mother!
The Lord has won
Only by taking inspiration from you.

Sita : (With joy yet with a bit of irritation)

No!
I do not wish fame,
I do not crave for credit,
Nor wish for praise

(Pause)

How's our Lord
What is his command?

Sarama : Hanu!

Please understand
Try to understand Sita, her eagerness
Now, no more delay would be proper
Witness is this Sarama ' consort of Vibhisana
Witness to Sita's mind.

That bridge which is lying broken still
Do mend it Hanu !

(In a thoughtful mood)

These streams of mind are hard to harness
Now be out with it
Tell it - the message of reunion with the Lord.

Hanuman : (Understanding Sita's state)

Mother!
Have no worry now
Message of the Lord is
Lanka is ours now
Feel at home
The Lord is content
The vow of your liberation
has been fulfilled
It has been worthwhile
Bridging the Sea
Missing the night's sleep
And killing
Ravana!
Now, the king is Vibhisana
Devotee,
That is, a friend of our Lord.

Sita : (With a sigh of relief)

I am blessed
Oh Moon! Come
Shine over me

(Pause a bit, thinks, appears enigmatic)

No ordinary message is this
What has ever been ordinary
In Sita's life?

A sequence is Sita
Of the extraordinary.
Sita is prepared.

(Looks towards Hanuman to know some more. Later, helplessly looks Sarama)

Sarama 

Come Hanu tell that
What you are not able to utter
Even if it is an order
That Sita has been waiting
To hear.
Please understand Hanu
Try to understand, something at least.

Sita : (Impatiently, eager)

Why is Hanuman blank?
Why can't he perceive
The thirst in my eyes?
Has it become meaningless Does it not matter at all?

Hanuman : (With folded hands and a heavy heart)

May I have your permission to leave.

Sita : (alarmed)

Permission?
Mine?
Sita's?
Who's herself seeking permission
You are seeking her permission?

(Sita appears to be speaking to herself ' voice from the background)

What kind of clouds are these?
They appear
Laden with water droplets
But how inactive
Why don't they pour?

What kind of beehive is this?
Full to the brim,
Yet nothing drops.
So, should Sita bare herself?
Should she express the feelings shamelessly?

(Hanuman, interrupting Sita's concentration, speaks)

Hanuman : (With folded hands)

Mother!
Give a message for the Lord
How eager he would be !

Sita : (With pain in her tone)

And me?
You know
How desperately
Have I been waiting
For the Lord.
Message?
Sita's message?
First complete the message itself, son ! The message of the Lord'

(Sita almost frantic, keeps quiet for a while. Thinks. Then with firm mind says)

Yes!
If that was all that the Lord had conveyed
Then Hanuman! convey to the Lord
That the news of his victory is nothing new
Still felicitations to our Lord
His might only has been proven again.

(satirically)

Tell our Lord Hanuman!
Sita is not a commodity,
She is a woman,
There is some life in her too.
She is his wife, dearest to his heart.

(After a pause, taking a deep breath)

Still, breaking the conventions of the age
Seeks, yes Hanuman seeks
Meeting with her Lord.
Seeks
That long awaited union
For which
Sita has lived from moment to moment.
That tempest of her Lord is desired
Which will calm down
The tempest raging
In Sita's heart.

(helplessly)

Enough!
Don't let these trees
And these winds
Feel more embarrassed.
Enough!

(pause)

Really?
Did my Lord not give order
Or even message
To call me?
This is not his first victory
That drunk with its joy
He would be oblivious of Sita's self-respect.

(Hanumana visibly disturbed)

Hanuman : Mother!

Mother!

(Unable to say anymore, dismayed goes back in silence. Enters a character Faith.)

Faith : (Grim)

How terrible it always is
When, I have been shaken.
Even a finger raised in doubt
Can pull down
The entire structure itself.
I am Faith
My mere existence
Is itself
A sea of rippling inspirations
My mere existence itself
Is the life of action
My mere existence itself
Is the elixirs of relationships.
One may or may not agree
I only, am the truth
I only, am the beneficence
I only, am the beauty.
It is not self deception
Nor stupidity
Even where endeavor and attainment
Unite and become indistinguishable.
There also I am present.

(Leaves the stage)

Sita 

How incredible is this all!
The silence of Hanuman!
His returning without an answer!
How incredible is this all!

(Sita walks from one corner of the stage to another as if perturbed)

Sarama supports her and makes her sit down)

(Enters Announcement from one side and Profundis from the other)

Announcement: (Pleased)

Listen all! victor is Rama
Honoured by the raksasa's and raksasis
Listen everybody!
May Sita also listen
Victor is Rama
Now Vibhisana is the King.
A devotee of Rama
Yes, a friend of Rama.

(Profundis Irritation is visible on his face)

Ugh !
How silly is Ms. Announcement !
How talkative is she.
She has but to talk.
And I ?
It is I who knows the silence of Rama
Who has felt
The stunned silence of Sita

(feeling helpless)

Should speak, but how ?
What shall I say?
I have heard Rama
I have heard
Lonely and
Silent Rama's
Internal explosions.
Why did not I become deaf

(slowly moves out of the stage. Enters Announcement holding the hand of Joy)

Announcement

Come Joy, come with me
I have to resound the announcement
Let anybody become deaf or even blind
How am I concerned ?
Ms Announcement I am
It is my job to announce
Feelings I am not, definitely not
Nor thought even.
What happens to those who have feelings
How am I concerned ?

(wicked smile)

Autonomous I am

(getting serious)

Let it be known!
Rama has sent Vibhisana
To escort Sita
To Rama's presence.

(They leave. Profundis had left earlier. Sita is in one corner. Faith enters from the other side.)

Faith : (with sadness)

Ah!
Another stroke
Another attack so grievous.
But I will endure
Let there be blows after blows
I shall endure

(hangs his head)

Helpless me
What else can I do ?
Restrained I am
But by my upbringing

(helplessly)

I am reduced to an event
At the best
Retaliation is not in my nature
Is it ?

(Focus on Sita)

Sita : (shocked, stunned)

What is it hat I hear, what is being announced
Vibhisana will escort Sita up to Rama!
Vibhisana?

(Looks towards Sarama)

Did you hear Sarama?
Sita who is wedded to Rama
Sita who is Rama's love
Vibhisan will escort that Sita up to Rama!

(a bit satirically)

My Rama is the same one is he ?
At first sight
The eyelids had dropped instantly?
Rama had soaked in
Deeper than the deepest
Isn't he the same Rama
Who did not hesitate for a moment
Over the helplessness of his father.
Isn't he the same Rama
Who so readily had eaten
Berries offered by Sabari, the untouchable
Who redeeming Ahalya, the cursed adultress

(in a complaining tone)

Then what was the hindrance today
That prevented Rama from running to me ?

Sarama 

Pray be calm !
Rama has been banished to the forest
Perhaps forbidden is
An entry
Into a city for him.
Pray be calm Maharani.
We are women.
We are to emulate
We cannot hope to be emulated, can we ?

Sita : Say shadows Sarama

Shadows which only follow.

Faith ( Disheartened, in one corner)

Ah !
So the worst has happened, hasn't it ?
Mere apprehension of the same was frightening
I am going to be knocked into smithereens
Save me ! Save me O! plants !
Save me O! winds!
Save me for mankind
O! birds, O! the living beings

(in a vulnerable tone )

Save me from untimely death
You all together
It is going to swallow me,
This large ocean of queries
On Sita's face.

(Sita sits down on her knees. Head is bent down. Slowly she raises her eyes)

Sita : (Still in the sequence of her earlier thoughts but with self confidence)

Is there no fire in the love of a wife?
Is giving importance to love
A shame in society?
Why?
Is the relationship of the wife
Not Social?

(rises slowly and stands up)

Still
Even if wife is only an entity submerged in the husband,
Don't hands reach with a start
The moment a part of the body
Is in pain ?

(pointing from top to bottom)

I have seen all the limbs
Of the body dedicated as one
In resolving any problem

(with a feeling of helplessness)

But whatever is the question
Whatever be the problem
Soliloquy is no answer.
And Rama?
Is he just an ensemble

(expression changes, Sarama holds her hand)

Even if
Self-respect prevents
Sita will have to go and face Rama,
Will have to follow the order
Of the victorious king.
Sita is willing. Make me presentable Sarama.!

Faith : (Distressed)

Pardon me O! Earth!
Pardon me O! Heavens !
Directions! Pardon me !
Pardon me O! winds!
FAITH I am.
Why
And where
Are not my concern.
Faith I am that's all
I will bear
Let there be blows after blows
I will survive

(starts to leave)

Sita : (Sad as well as disturbed. Looking upwards)

Shake not, shake not, Oh my faith!
Unwanted words
Don't you come disguised as thoughts.
Could it be that my Rama
Cannot help but feel obligated
He must be obligated

(feeling a bit composed, taking a deep breath)

And then
It is not that my self-respect is being hurt
That I am struggling,
Let people realize
Sita is a symbol
Of struggle.
Sita has to be
Struggle only.
Oh my conviction !
Let Sita remain just dedication !

(expression changes)

Even if for just once
Sita becomes a question
The very foundation of the authority
Will be shaken.
Let Sita remain just dedication
Oh my convictions !

(Lights fade ..darkness on the stage)

(Rama's camp. Laksmana and others standing. Waiting silently)

Information : (Indifferent)

Information I am.
Information I am
Who has nothing of her own
Sita is coming
With Vibhisana
Coming slowly
Laden
With the burden of her own emotions.

(Looking towards the audience)

I have informed properly, haven't I?
It is essential
That I be autonomous
Isn't it?

(Wicked smile)

(Sita's arrival. Rama on the edge of joy and sorrow, remains seated as a king, silent but with turmoil inside)

Rama : (With feeling of guilt. Voice from back stage)

No, I'll not be able to get up Sita!
I just cannot be solely a personal reference.
Even if I wish
I will not be able to run to hold you in my arms.
This throne
Which is my responsibility
Is the symbol of the people
This is the dilemma of Rama
He hasn't been able to understand
Till today
Where he is the people
And where the individual.
Whenever he should have been
The individual
Rama remained the ensemble.
Rama is at war
An incessant war.

(There is silence all around. Disturbance inside each person)

Profundis : (Disturbed and with a tone of regret, from one corner in front part of the stage, looking at the audience.)

Again the same
All are speaking within themselves.
I am hearing!
Clear are all the words to me.
All are speaking
No one is listening to each other.
After all how long can I go on?
How long can I go on supporting
This state of affairs ?
There is a limit for me too.
I will have to move from this place.
How I wish
I were deaf
Or could speak at least.

Sita : (To herself, curiosity in the eyes ' voice from the back stage)

Are my expressions
Really not being able to
Bring out my feelings?
Aren't they able to reach my Rama?
Or it is only a play of Rama
Merely a drama.
What is this infatuation
That is greater than Sita
For victor Rama today?
For Rama?
Is there really some infatuation
Even greater than that of Sita?
What has happened to me
Who is causing these cracks In me?
I wish I had croaked.
Unbearable is the separation for Sita
Unbearable is the indifference of Rama.
No, Sita is not merely a woman
She is also wife of Rama.

Rama : (Addressing Sita and presenting himself as unperturbed)

I have won victory over Lanka,
I have vindicated the humiliation
Understand this manly deed Sita!

(Rama starts thinking. Keeps looking at Sita for some time)

Sita : (Feeling hurt, internally)

How I wish
Rama could say
It is our victory over Lanka.
Don't discard me
Even in words like this.
Much more severe than that of a million arrows
Is the sting
Of unbearable words.

Rama : (with pride)

I have washed the blemish
Off my family.
You, captive of Ravana
Are free today by Rama's powers

(Becoming normal)

You are free Sita
As free as the expanse of the ocean.
Unbounded you are
Like the winds of the creation
You are bound no more
Like the committed thoughts

(With a moment's pause, looks at Sita. Sita is in a strange state. Surprised at the indifferent tone of Rama)

Not a man, a woman you are Sita!
You will have to understand canons of the age
You have lived under Ravana's shadow.

(Rama is breathing fast, Sita is startled. The rest as if stunned)

To win you over was my duty
I had to wash off
The blemish on my family.
Try and understand
You are free
Free from ties of any kind.

(All are startled, some confused. Sita, it appears, is understanding)

Sita : (In resolute tone)

No,
Freedom without ties
Is chaos Rama !
Sita is not wayward
Sita is not a woman
Without traditions.
A wife is Sita '
Free
On the axis of her husband
Never was Sita bonded.

(with self confidence)

No, I do not want to understand anything,
Sita is dedication Rama! -
A humble dedication
Protected by you is
The self
Of Sita.
Please understand
When and where is Sita
Separate from Rama!
My Rama!
It isn't Sita,
You have liberated
The helpless body of Sita.
The soul was but here.
Here
Ever close to you
Unconquered

(unsure)

How are these dark clouds
Gathering on your face.

(trying to explain with tender feelings)

Please hold,
Stop them my Rama
Those incoming years
Of probable storms
Conquer
Oh victorious Rama !
Conquer these !
I cannot countenance your defeat
Be it on any field.

(Sita is quite perturbed. Rama remains as he was)

Continued 

Pages 1 | 2 | 3

26-Aug-2001
More by :  Vishwa Mohan Tiwari, AVM (Retd)
 
Views: 1066
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Solitude and other poems by Rajender Krishan 

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