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Mohenjodaro Reviisited
I.
You are not dead

Why do they call you
Mohen-jo-daro,
“ Mounds-of-the-Dead”?
You are not dead!
You have never been dead
Or buried
Or cremated
By the scorching banks of the Sindhu;

Historians have conspired against you

A thousand and one tales
Have besmirched your name
Misguided fools have imagined
Your obituary to be true;
Sentimental fools have sung elegies
By their own graves
Garlanded their own biers,
Cursed the stars and howled at the heavens
Self-piteous tears, in the hope
That some part of their practiced grief would be remembered
As poetry,
A fitting tribute to your eternal face;
Maybe, they would be able to, by their ululations,
Raise demons from the earth
Or bring forth spectres
From darkest shadows of the thinnest air, precipitating
Some prophecy, nameless and foreboding, a small
Tin medal on their pathetic breasts,
Stark in their hunger for inspired flights;

Other dust should fashion other jars, not having the consistency
Of ours.

It has been foretold that you will not die
That you will not die thus, at the behest of historians
Or for the research of archaeologists
Or even the yapping lap-dogs
Aping the tawny shades of our leonine skins;
It has been foretold,
And we are witnesses to you survival.




II.
Priest-Kings and dancing girls

The sands have shifted,
As the river has---
You are only abandoned,
“Mound-abandoned-and-shifted”.

Take heart! Be not sad,
The sons of Sindhu are around you;
You cannot die while your sons live,
While the children of the river still ply their wide boats
On your consort’s undulating breast;
While your daughters carry their vessels
Fashioned from your clay;

In every face, you are alive.

In the mien of priest-kings who have renounced
Their crowns and pulpits for lives of love and freedom—
At Bhit Shah, they sing your songs;
At Sehwan, they celebrate your being;
In every prayer and call to prayer you are revealed
Rising gradually towards the heights of Kirthar
Rolling ceaselessly over the sands of Kutch
With every partridge crooning in the cotton,
With every mallard winging over Manchar,
You come forth—
The Breaker-of-the-Shackles-of-Tyranny
The-Keeper-of-the-Honour-of-Dancing –girls
Friend-of-the-Imprisoned-Hari
Last-Flower-amidst-the-Thorns-of-Despair!
You are the yellow turmeric staining the red ajrak
Of our wounds
Anointing your martyrs
Healing your casualties
Soothing us with your whispered lullaby
Such as our mothers used to sing us
In our cradles
From the earliest dawn of creation;

Even now, your humped oxen plod home in the evening
Of their tillage;
Every day I hear the rise and fall of your undeciphered script
In the cadences of children
In the chattering of women
In the murmur of lovers
In the gestures of old men
In the anger of the young.




III.
A Dream Untold

It was said, long ago, that you will not die
That forever you will live in the eyes of every child,
That you will rise from your gargantuan sleep,
Arise, woken by the winds!
When the Eastern Gates of your citadel are opened wide
All wars will cease
Your sons will no longer flinch under the lash,
Your daughters will no longer be distraught,
The pillars of fire and smoke will settle down
And the silent waste-lands speak with voices of prophecy;

When precious stones will once again etch the bright circumference
Of your ruins
And the heavens shake themselves into fleeting shapes,
Vain and irresolute constellations plunge
Into narrow circles of despair—

It has been said that you will flourish again,
When the crashing shores
Of sea and river
Melt into each other
When waves shiver
Into the rock’s embrace.


Then I, too, shall awaken, I trust,
And behold you in your truth.


------------



* (c) Omer Tarin.
Pub ''The Glasgow Seeker'', UK, 2005
Written by: Omer Tarin