Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Amita Sarjit Ahluwalia writes


Here is Amita typing a poem on her mobile

The calling of the Name
The Sir, the Madam
Your Honour, Your Lordship
Mama, Papa
Darling, Sweetheart
Honey, Sugar
The Likes, the Hearts
Approvals, Acknowledgments
Recognitions, Titles
Your Name on a Poem
A Book, a house
A Plane or Railway ticket

Slowly, Life tricks you into Identity
I, Me, Ego, Self

It’s a very warm afternoon in June in Patna

You get used to it
My body my mind
My personality
You identify with it all

And then the taking away
Of looks loved ones
Those who called you by name
The strength of the body
The rigour of the mind
Sight Sound Comprehension

It’s so hot. I’m not perspiring.

And then one day
Death deals the final blow

The Self disintegrates much much faster
Than it took to build itself up
Sometimes at a single stroke
What’s left, then?

You try to say
A Higher Self

The curtains are drawn against the heat; the ceiling fan whirrs

But it’s not true
The Infinite Everlasting Power
Of Creation, Nurturing and Destruction
Is not a Self of any sort
But the end of Self

What a blow to Ego!
What a thorough deconstruction
Of the formal or essential Self!

Weep if you can
If you can, you’re fortunate
Most Fortunate among the Stones
Dead Stones that cannot weep

I need Mangoes. I must buy Mangoes.
And a Watermelon

Let me begin, here and now
To unravel myself
By detaching at least the most detachable parts of self
To start with

When it comes to the core
It will be more difficult, perhaps,
But who knows?
Let the de-selfing begin

“What did your face look like before your parents were born?”

What is left of existence when there is no identity?

It’s the essence of what we wish to know

Here is Amita posting her poem on the Internet


  1. Thank you for posting this , Duane Vorhees !

  2. Patna is one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the world. King Ajatashatru of Magadha founded it ca. 490 BCE in order to shift his capital from Rajagrha (modern Rajgir) to a more strategically located place. (Its founding is also attributed to the legendary king Putraka, who magically created it for his queen Patali ([trumpet flower"]. It may have been named after the patli trees that abound there, but its name may also be associated with the Badi Patan Devi temple, the place where the right thigh of Sati, goddess of marital felicity and longevity, had fallen when Vishnu dismembered her lifeless corpse in order to prevent Vishnu, her insanely bereft husband from destroying the world in his grief. The temple includes large statues of Mahakali, Lakshmi, and Saraswati, goddesses who were Putraka's protectors.) The city was the capital of the Magadh realm under the Haryanka, Nanda, Mauryan, Shunga, Gupta, and Pala empires. It was the center of ancient Indian advancements in science, mathematics, astronomy, philosophy, and religion; Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism adopted some of its traditions, especially the beliefs in rebirth and karmic retribution. The area was conquered and destroyed in 1200 by Muslim forces under Ikhtiyar al-Din Muḥammad Bakhtiyar Khalji. Gautama Siddartha, the founder of Buddhism, lived much of his life in the kingdom of Magadha, attained enlightenment in Bodh Gaya, and gave his first sermon in Sarnath; and the first Buddhist council was held in Rajgriha 3 months after his death. In the last year of his life he traveled there and prophesied a great future for the place and also its ruin due to flood, fire, and feud.

  3. Brilliant note
    This will surely help all readers to get a grip on the historical background of this poem


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