The golden deer ran beyond her reach
Perhaps it did not exist
She just longed to have a glimpse
Within a circle she stood, watching
Deer disappeared in the jungle
With Palash in full bloom,
wild bushes on floral fire
Aranya seemed to whisper:
The boundary was to keep her safe
from phantom tongues of flames,
but she crossed anyway
to be tricked by fraudulent faith.
Marooned on the island
of demonic greed
she waited for relief -
lived in repentant denial.
When asked to prove her truth,
she emerged unscathed -
a Goddess on holy pyre.
Once, but once, she had dared to chase desire.