Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Mrug Katha

My friend Nandan Tavanandi, on a visit to the  Ranthambore Wild Life Sanctuary in southeastern Rajasthan,  in search of the much protected  and admired King ,  clicked this photograph, of some other citizens of the woods.

A study in dried wooden browns, his camera picked up more deer than he thought he had captured.   Four of them, out to watch those with lenses in jeeps, and a quiet one at the back left, possibly more intellectual than the others out front.

Sometimes photographs speak . Sometimes it is a thousand words.  Sometimes memories of stories heard in childhood.

And sometimes it is a commentary on our life and times. 

रानातल्या निवडणुका ,
उघड्या जीपांमधून बारीक डोळेकरून
दुर्बिणीतून बघणारी जकिटवाली माणसं ,

जंगलातले हिरवे खलास करून
खिशात खुळखुळत शहरात घेउन
जाणारे नेते ,
कुणा एके दिवशी
अज्ञातवासातून हळूच बाहेर डोकावत
आपले मृगशिंग पेलत
अर्जुन्मृग आणि भीममृग
खेळकर नकुल्म्रुग व सहदेव्मृगास
आपल्या पाठीशी घालून
सरसावून पुढे होतात .

पाठीमागून झाडीतून एका निश्चल
युधिष्टीरमृगाचा आवाज येतो
" फार विश्वास नका ठेउ
ह्या निवडणुकीतल्या जीपवाल्या माणसांवर ;
ज्यांच्या राज्यात द्रौपदी सुरक्षित नाही ,
त्यांच्या पासून दूरच राहाय्लेला बरं … "

शंभर कौरव जीपांमधून पैशाची धूळ उडवत
निघून जातात ,
आणि पाच हि मृगं
ह्या देशासाठी
कृष्णाच्या शोधात पुन्हा कार्यरत होतात ….
in the Wild Life Sanctuary,
and hundreds of folks
rushing around in jeeps
watching life
through binoculars
and some,
who destroy the green
and rush back
with the stuff
jingling in their deep pockets.

Rustling leaves
to one side,
and emergence
of the Deer Pandavas,
incognito in the woods,
Arjunstag and Bhimstag
raring to go,
with a distracted
Nakulstag and Sahadevstag
beside them .

And the quiet voice
of an inert Yudhishthirstag
somewhere behind,
streams through,
"Don't trust
these jeepwallas too much;
Our Draupadi
is never safe in their lands.."

The hundred Kaurav jeepwallas
in a cloud of dust,
as these five,
continue their search
for a Krishna for the Millenium....

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