A Mother’s Curse

Mothers make a difference
they pass genes to children
quirky ones are always theirs
a wayward son can be traced back to a slut

should be really something to spew hundred evil sons
putrid rotten eggs swimming out for union after the menstrual cycle
freaks born because she remained pregnant for two years
fetus hacked into hundred pieces and lo the children

dysfunctional behavior ran in her husband’s family
was he impotent ?
why did she ask Vyasa to help? What help, you might ask?   
there is always something fishy if sages are asked for help
it had happened before, remember why her husband was born blind

(she remained blindfolded for a lifetime
to spite her blind husband, he wanted the  fair princess of Gandhara
the simpletons in the kingdom said she wanted to deny herself
 all that her husband had been deprived
don’t subscribe to that story
she was plainly  blinded by anger )

when she bathed her boys, felt their bodies
did she run through contours hardened with hatred
did she rub in venom of revenge –
uprooted from her home in the beautiful mountains
to the dry plains of Hastinapura
isolated for being from fringe of civilization
less remembered than Kunti the virtuous
a queen albeit, the only consolation for all that was lost

years of spooning  bitterness in golden bowls of porridge
got nothing much
ranting black clouds of sons she had puffed into existence
were killed in the battlefield  by Kunti’s five sons
(cut all that crap about the victory of Good over Evil
she is a mother , remember)

she went to the battlefield
ran her hands over the disgorged bodies of her sons
hundred sons
smelt blood mixed with the fragrance of chameli flowers
garlands their wives had adorned them
waiting for sunset to hear the hoofs of horses on the dusty path
the return of their husbands

she will have nothing of Krishna
the blue hued boy carrying different identities
who master minded everything
She cursed him, the God of the three worlds
and he died and so did all his clan-
such is the power of a mother’s curse

Now tell me
the mothers from Afghanistan
Gandhari’s sisters and soul mates
whom will they curse
for  their children tortured and killed
Who is their Krishna ?

(The blindfolded mother is Gandhari from the Indian epic ‘Mahabharata’. Gandhari was the priness of Gandhara, a kingdom in the region that is the present day northwest Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan. Read here to get an idea of the story, and here for the story of Gandhari.  But remember that this epic is interpreted in multiple ways, interpolated through the centuries, it is one of the tales working in our subconscious for various reasons. So a plain narration of the tale is only a rough pointer.)

In response to POW


7 thoughts on “A Mother’s Curse

  1. actually mahabaratha is a much better epic than ramayana as it talks about all human failings and avarice. good poem, it is a cursed mother who outlives her children and that too a 100 of them. great uma. good work.

  2. Such a powerful story, Uma, with the scent of flowers mingled with blood, bitterness and sacrifice, and still relevant.

  3. Uma, I must say I was first drawn to the title of this and then the photo of poppies. Can you believe that I have seven of these exact same plants looking just like this, half a world away? Your poem contains beautiful yet painful language and I thank you for sharing it.

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