Where are You, my sweet Lord?
Did i lose You somewhere in those beautiful dreams...
Or, somewhere else in life's complicated realms?
Did You hide Yourself when i got so used to Your intoxication...
And, along with You, steal my poor imagination?
Where are You, dear Lord?
Did You think i will be fine on my own?
Is that why You turned this heart to stone..
But, now that i do shamefully atone-
Would You accept if i said i want You alone??
Where are You, my Krishna?
You steer me through the path of life,
Every moment, i feel Your guidance by the side;
And yet, this heart is in great strife-
For it longs for its lover's sight!
Will You come back, my Lord?
Though this slave be undeserving,
Though, in service, i have been slacking,
Though i have committed a disservice horrifying,
Would You take me back and fill this life with meaning?
This slave surrendered unto You,
Beseeches a chance anew-
All the errors and apologies in lieu,
Please accept a heart that pines for You!
When i cannot see my Lord's beautiful face,
Where do i for my empty heart find solace?
When away from the one who my insignificant heart also stole:
My heart that greives for my lover: how will i console?
I try singing a song:
But all i end up with are disjointed chords!
I try (in prayer) to fold my hands-
But find my tears wetting the sands!
Where are those blissful dreams?
Where are those moments with my Lord love-sealed?
i beg of You (O Madhava!) to take me back
For, at this moment, my life does all meaning lack!
Love, they say, appreciates closeness in miles-
But, in reverse, my woes do pile!
So close, yet so far apart drawn-
Here, alone, feeling like a lost fawn!
When my mind in circles like this does run-
Where are You, My dear Thief, hidden-having fun?
Come, let me drink the nectar of Your presence once again-
Please do not let my pleas go in vain!
In these lines, the protagonist praises his beloved. "Kanne" means eyes, but also it is a sweet form of calling one's beloved. "Kalaimaane" is a kind of deer and "Mayil: refers to a peacock.
andhip pagal unai naan paarkkiraen I see you day and night aandavanai idhaiththaan kaetkiraen I ask of God nothing else! raariraaroa oaraariroa raariraaroa oaraariroa
kaadhal kondaen My heart began to love you kanavinai valarththaen It flourished incessantly in my dreams! kanmani unai naan karuththinnil niraiththaen O The Apple of My Eyes! i filled my thoughts with You! unakkae uyiraanaen My life is now yours! ennaalum enai nee maravaadhae Please, never ever forget me! neeyillaamal edhu nimmadhi Without you, there is no peace! needhaanae en sannidhi You are my sannidhi! (sannidhi refers to the holy sanctum sanctorum)
While most songs that i hear DO get dedicated to my Lord Krishna, this particular song never occured in that list.
It's always been my Dad's song.
But, today, as my dad sung for me in his soothing voice, the words in the second stanza dedicated themselves to His feet.
So, to conclude, what IS magical in this world is "LOVE".
How, we are bound to each other by that Universal Affection.
How, our relationship with Parthasarathy is also defined by that very word.
What is indeed magical is how the Ruler of the Universe sways to little expressions of Love!
i am but Your meagre slave,
And, i have no respite You save:
Let me not wither in the wilderness!
Let me not be alone to despair and madness!
Your eyes steal every heart they rest upon:
Then why to rest on me they take so long?
Your powerful finger that lifted the hill:
When will they rest on mine and my mind's void fill?
Whether You hold me close to Your broad chest,
Or leave me lost like a child in a fest-
Whether You by Your smile my senses astound-
Or wring this heart by Your punishing frown:
i have none but You, my Lord!
O Lord who blessed a friend who wanted a handful of rice
To be more than Kubera richer thrice-
O Heartthrob who stole away the Gopis' garments
Will You not steal this slave from Your imposed torments?
i have no voice to fight
Coz i have believed You are always right!
If i be wrong forgive me and take me;
If this is some game, lost to You let me be!
When Your procession passes my threshold:
With awe Your majesty i behold!
And then, when me in Your beautiful smile You hold,
You have me frozen at that very threshold!
O Lion-Faced Lord! How great a gift:
That washing the streets on which You tread is a way to live!
How do i thank You for the kindness You bestow?
How do i describe the seed of longing You have sowed?
To be lost in Your glance every morning, Dear Parthasarathy,
To beget the smile at the corner of Your beautiful lips hiding;
To drink the nectar that touched Your feet:
Oh! Oh! Oh! What else is there to seek?
Oh Dear Lord! Forever keep me Your slave,
Forgive me when guilty and naive:
Dearest Lord of my Heart! i love You so-
Keep me Yours, i ask You no more!
[P.S: If this post tends to be very boring in the introduction part, feel free to skip to the green text. There is the actual description of the ratha :) ]
The morning dawned with determination to get up early. You see, Parthasarathy was technically up from 02:30 in the morning preparing for the Ther (Ratha).
But lazy, confused and caught up as i had been, it was a late 05:30 that i pulled myself out of my bed.
i was in such a horrible mood, i thought i would save PSP the misfortune of staring into my sullen face by not going.
This was something that would usually have me excited, but all i could do was pull a long face. My head was already aching so hard, as though a bullet was hiding inside.
But, i did force myself into His presence.
i haven't been to many ther festivals. i remember one as a kid, and one i went to last year, both in my native place of Thenthiruperai.
These thoughts, and the sound of the autorikshaw combined to churn out some sloshy weight in my head. Add to this my mom complaining over my rather ordinary choice of dress for such an extraordinary event (i was in no mood to celebrate), my eyes begged me to let them cry. Somehow, i was not exactly jubiliant or excited. i did not expect PSP to even look at me. i was convinced He would act like a piece of stone when i got to see Him (that is the thing that hurts me the most, when i cannot read anything on His face).
And, then my eyes wanted to cry all the more. But, for a different season. He loomed into my sorry eyes, ever so majestic, ever so breathtaking. The ther (ratha) had been done up in a red canopy. The red canopy was like a makeshift roof, shielding Him from the sun. On all sides of the ther were horses, beautifully painted for the occasion, His guards, with their feet on the heads of asuras, and surrounding His ther were hundreds of people.
His ther was pulled by frenzied devotees. Their cries of "Govinda Gopala" were too infectious. They resounded in my ears which were feasting eagerly on their excitement, on that maddened devotion. In front walked the great learned people, singing the beautiful hymns of the Prabandham, even as those words filled my brain, and cleansed it of all its worries.
i felt dazed, dazzled even. The majesty of the whole thing was too much for my rattled brain.
But, all this i noticed later. What i noticed first was my dear Lord, my dear ParthaSarathy, seated beautifully within the ther. With Sridevi and Bhoomidevi on each side, He looked so breathtakingly majestic. ParthaSarathy- the Ruler.
But, more amazing to me was ParthaSarathy, the Driver.
Yes, how will PSP not drive?
Isn't He the one who drove Arjuna in the battlefield?
Isn't He the one who drives us through the battlefield called life?
Doesn't He drive our hearts to His feet?
While inside stood ParthaSarathy, dearest Lord; outside sat ParthaSarathy, my Lord.
There, He sat- His right leg folded in, His left angled out, almost as He were relaxing, and His left hand resting, almost carelessly, on His left knee. In His right hand was a red whip. His face exuded so much charm, i was dazzled. His moustache framed the most beautiful smile.
And, in His left hand, He held the reins of four white horses.
When i first saw Him like this, i was thrown back by surprise.
This particular form of His had enchanted me so much.
As is usual to work on polish, paint, etc., this particular idol of His had been placed in front of the Aandal sannathi inside the temple for the past one month.
i usually have a habit of telling PSP that He must not stand too long, that He should have been sitting instead of standing. i used to tell Him to do that, atleast for the sake of Rukmini Thaayar. So, as i saw Him sitting, i was totally enchanted.
i remember the pressing impulse i had to steal Him from the temple and place Him at home. (i hope they dont arrest me for this confession) The thought seriously crossed my mind. :)
And His left hand- it was folded, so as to hold something. It was the most intriguing, inviting. So many times, when i was sure no one was watching in the temple, i would place my index finger within His thumb and fingers curled together.
One evening, i had even secretly placed my index finger to my lips, and passed on a secret kiss. i still remember not washing my hands the whole night, even as it had turned a certain red colour after touching His palms.
He was present as Parthasarathy times two.
So, as i saw Him there, as the ruler, and also as the one driving, it left me amazed, spellbound.
He is the ruler who ruled the Universe, and yet, He is also the bhaktavatsala, forever there for His devotees, ready to do anything for them. Even pick up the dusty reins of the horse, and do the littlest of jobs. Even sit braving the Sun, at the helm of the vehicle, while Partha sat inside.
He is the puppeteer, who holds our reins, like He held those horses.
My joy knew no bounds. The whole atmosphere tugged at my heart. He was chiding me for ever wishing to stay back, in His own unique, sweet way.
The shouts of "Govinda Gopala had now reached a new high. The women were drawing large kolams to welcome Him. i made a mental note to improve my rather poor, and awfully basic skills in this department.
But, the most lasting memory was standing in front of those singing the Prabandham hymns. The jeeyar was there, leading a group of atleast 50 devotees singing. My hairs stood on one end, as they sang the Alwar's loving verses in their unique rhythm. i stood quite close, just in front of them, my hands folded, my senses lost to words, which magically found meaning in my head, by His grace. It was the most filling, satisfying memory of the day. As they were going to move away, they started next with the hymns. My mom smiled at me, an all-knowing smile. i didn't realize it then, but a couple of words floating in my ears told me it was sung on Thirumaaliruncholai (Azhagar, Madurai). i have a lot of fond memories of Azhagar, and it was too much of a coincidence.
Everywhere you turned, you could see devotees mesmerized by Him. Their involvement was infectious. It got into you. It inspired you to keep looking at Him. Maybe, this is how Vaikuntha is supposed to look.
Meanwhile, my mom left me with a family friend, a dear akka, as she had some work.
Now this dear family friend hadn't yet realized i was no longer a kid, and insisted on holding my hands (!!!!)
But, the way she held my hand reminded me of PSP, that i told myself not to complain. :)
i forgot to mention, we were not allowed to "pull" the ther. We, being the fairer sex.
The "vadam" was an iron chain, which would bruise our manicured hands.
So, that fun was not for us.
A lot of thoughts ran through my head- of the longest airports in the world (i have been in two of the top three), and a rather heavy handbaggage.
Of busy, crowded railway stations, and a supposedly light bag in my hand.
Of a sweaty tennis racquet, anticipating the next razor sharp ball.
Of the sprain i usually got after hours of throwball practice. Of my red fingers after a match.
Of how my fingers ached after playing the piano in fortissimo (hard playing).
All these things had bruised my hand. All these things had reddened my hands so evidently.
All these mundane things had been allowed to bruise my hands. And i wouldn't have minded it a least bit even if my hands sprained themselves in the effort. In His effort. But, i kept these thoughts to myself.
Also, it had been raining quite a bit in Chennai. The ground was quite sloppy, and wet sand was everywhere. My feet looked like they had been smeared with mehendi. But, the devotees even overlooked that litle problem.
At around 08:30 in the morning, the ratha came to a standstill. To watch this, we had caught the best place, and watched, as the majestic vehicle finally came to a standstill. Almost everyone was screaming His name. A huge round of applause went through the crowd. i responded with tears in my eyes. My morning had swung like a pendulum. These people, clapping joyously, didn't know how much they had helped.
And, when the bhattacharya took the aarti, as the flames of fire danced in front of Him, my heart threatened to jump out of my mouth.
If i had stayed back, i would have missed this magical, out-of-the-world experience.
But, He is most kind. He knew of my stupid reason for staying back. i hadn't wanted Him to have a sulker in His joyous crowd. But, He had pulled me along, and made me dance to His joyous tunes. Every devotee out there was dancing to His tunes.
Sorry about the long post. The little details may have been a bit on the personal side, and not exactly a description, but this is the least i could do in terms of sharing what i had experienced. Forgive me, for glossing over the details by filling them in with what i was thinking. In all, if u can capture in your hearts the magic of PSP, i will be glad. The photos, i will upload within the next couple of days.
i just wrote my English board exam.
i shouldnt be here as i have a rather imporant and daunting subject called Physics lined up next for me.
i wrote an essay about my dear Krishna.
i wrote an essay about Oscar Wilde's "The Selfish Giant", but if you read it here, you will know what i meant. http://www.readprint.com/work-1515/The-Selfish-Giant-Oscar-Wilde/contents
And since my mind keeps wandering back to the wonderful experience that Wilde must have had when he wrote this, the spell-binding effect it had on me when i was paraphrasing his ideas...
What my version of Wilde's giant would have told the little boy Krishna...
You look like any other boy- Yet, You have played with my heart like a toy! You look like any other little boy- But, i guess this whole thing was Your ploy!
You stand so majestic, teasing my senses, Your eyes in a smile so exquisite, perplexing my tenses, Your hands on Your hips, You pretend You are a kid small- But, oh! Now, i see we are Your kids all!
The hands with which You drive us puppets, Oh! You flung them about me in a loving caress! That day, You planted a kiss upon my undeserving cheek- And, ever since, nothing else could i seek!
O my dear little boy! How i have longed to play with You! Playing, dancing, cheering- o! with these ideas i have toyed! O! Did i know i was Your toy?
These flowers sprung up when they touched Your feet- Seeing You, my heart was awoken from its evil sleep- Today, this heart that loves You has in front of You kneeled Begging Your mercy, Hoping You won't again fleet!
Concentrated acids of every kind around me...
The clock on the wall ticking...
And, me, in a flurry, to get my Board Practicals right...
This is the stuff that i usually get right, but am too tensed up...
Your name on my lips, more out of fear, than devotion....
And add to it that my burette chooses to leak,
And the solution choses to beat the pipette and get into my mouth...
And, my salt, a mystery to solve, to give a name, seems like an enigma, and me like Sherlock Holmes trying to investigate it....
Usually i am a "good" Sherlock Holmes, but things went awry...
And who would i blame?
Coz, You were the only person i knew, and trusted in that whole room...
So, i started...how?
First, my seat number got me...
it was 9!!
Why wasnt it 8??
8 is special about You!
Why did u "rig" the seating arrangement to make sure i didnt get Your number???
i was insane! And, who better than You to blame in insane moments??
So, i say: If i get this titration right, You are with me(!!!!!)
And, i do it...
i get a reading, but am not so sure...
Usually i am, but i had gotten everything wrong so far today....
i stand before the examiner, and blurt out my value, half-hoping her verbal assault at my appalling error....
Instead she says- Ya, perfect!!!!
i am stumped!
By Your love, by Your greatness in bearing with my stupidity!
And, then, i remember...
You are the "9th" of the Dasavathara, dearest Krishna...
In a not-so-noticeable way, i DID get Your number!!!
How stupid again!
Do you deal with headcases like me all the time?
Blaming You when You are the very support?
Cussing at You only because You are there?
Expecting help always from You, even if it's not perhaps right???
i dunno, my Lord, but i love You!
More so, coz u were an amazing chemistry-lab-nerve-soother today!
Actually, more than that!
You were my everything in the chem lab today.
And, You are everything in the lab of life