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The River

Long ago, at the dead of the night
The waters rose and swelled
To the high embankment
And spilled over to the village.
The mountains calmly looked on
While a flying chariot-in-flames
Had sheared their edges smooth
Like the lines in the artist's placid
Landscape on two by two canvas.
Upstream ,the river swelled with pride
As rain had poured into catchments
In the rugged Western ghats
Somewhere in the distant Nasik
The river is now bound within banks
Tamed by a manmade monstrosity.
There is now no excitement of spate
It is now so much brown sand
And thin streaks of shallow water.
These days funeral fires rage
On the hot sun-baked river-bed.
On the annual festival days
Tens of thousands of merry- making
Peasants and townsfolk, alike,
Congregate on the brown sand
To celebrate God's birthday


More By  :  A. J. Rao

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