Silence of bugles, echoing wails of defeat and cries of victory,
Victors depleted and the vanquished annihilated,
Heaps of humbled flags, broken chariots
Massacred bodies, mutilated limbs,
Tears flowing in the rivers of blood,
To nourish the hopes aborted and dreams still born,
Did the war end on the eighteenth day, Krishna?
Prayers drowned in the ocean, of
Sighs of the survivors and wails of the fallen,
And the Sun retreated to the hermitage of evening.
The retreating and the advancing,
The dejected and the celebrating,
Columns of marching warriors,
Feet of the soldiers and hoofs of the horses,
Drew a curtain of dust that went up to the heavens.
You also wound- up all that only you had unfolded,
Was it the fulfillment of your task in that form?
Was it the accomplishment, the acme of all action?
The culmination of your mission!
Definitions lost, identities merged, entities dissolved,
Friends and foes, winners and losers, kings and the subjects
Extant and the vanished,
Anointed with victory or smeared with defeat,
You smiled at all of them,
All comforted by you, Krishna.
As the baton of eternity,
Passed from one unseen hand into the other.
But Draupadi remained, Krishna,
Lonely warrior in a tattered fabric
Immersed in prayers, longing for your touch.
No mighty warriors by her side, no armies to her aid,
War never ended on the eighteenth day, Krishna.
Play no bugles now, no conches,
No twang of the mighty archers now,
Just give a new meaning to the eternal symphony
Played on the strings of breath,
With the notes of your flute.