Better Off Unborn

Never make love at sunset when the gods
take a ride in the skies, look down at you copulating
skirt pulled up; the breeze from the jackfruit tree
cooled the damp sweat, mapped the moist trail
that her ascetic husband with dreadlocks left on her skin.

He watched her emerge from the blue depths of desire
muddied by wisps of sadness. The sky a mottled lilac skirt
planted the two seeds of curse under, a gash that ached while
the voyeuristic gods reclining on firm clouds   
sneered at the woman for lusting seeking her man.

(My upbringing is impeccable, never leave behind my comb
with strands of hair, never let my skirt balloon  
on the clothesline at night time, roll away my mat, sweep the floor.
Twilight is dangerous my father had warned, open the doors, let
gods see everything, that I am clean at dusk time between my legs.)

Her womb swelled like the river in monsoon time,
rashes of worry spread on the skin, pouches of dread hung under eyes,
complexion the colour of lily curdled like stale cheese – 
happens  in pregnancy the  women at the ashram told her. She
stilled her breath, eclipsed time till it hung like a discarded plastic bag.

The poison inked her blood a deep purple,
fetuses kept a hundred years in the womb turned blue;
the glaciers inched and the earth shifted under her feet,
her boys moved  pushed  tugged , stirred love and affection
while she prayed they drown in the primeval water of creation. 

As I wrote and interpreted the story of Diti and Kashyapa from Srimad Bhagavatham, I saw it shape to the prompt of Poetic Asides.

When the universe was still young during the first Manvantara, Brahma created from parts of his body Prajapatis who would people the universe with their progeny.  Daksha was created from Brahma’s thumb and he birthed fifty sons and thirteen daughters, one being Diti and the other Sati the wife of Mahadeva.  Marichi the other son of Brahma was one of the Sapta rishis. His son Kashyapa inherited from his father the right of creation. He married Daksha’s daughter Diti. They gave birth to the asuras Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashpu .

Because  there needs to be light and shade, growth and decay, creation and destruction and since the tapestry  of the Universe is spun from warps and wefts of curses and penitence, angers and munificence of gods and rishis, since the curse by rishis on Vishnu’s two celestial gatekeepers has to be annulled by their birth on earth,  Diti makes love in dusk under the prying eyes of gods and is cursed for her improper act with asuras for sons so that the accursed gatekeepers can have a passage of life through her womb. In this large pattern the mother is forgotten- the mother agonised by guilt, who yearns to hold her sons, also dreads so much destruction the birth of her sons will unleash that she carries them in her womb for hundred years, is seldom remembered.

Or, only remembered when I pin up my cascading hair at dusk time.

2 thoughts on “Better Off Unborn

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