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Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri



Ode to an Amaltas

You showered blossoms each day.
Like rain they poured down my way-
soft petals, gossamer gay-
that I patiently swept away,
lest the devotees, when they come to pray,
tread, trample and scatter away,
this sacred floral tribute you pay
to my lord, night and day.

Fresh flowers rained down every day
in yellow grandeur all the way,
again did I sweep them away
and a third time each passing day,
as you poured your heart away
in pure devotion day by day.

‘Stop awhile if you may,
my cup is full’, I prayed one day
and this prayer of mine, curse nay,
so readily back did you repay
as the blossoms thinned each day,
the flowers finally vanished away,
the leaves fell down and faded away,
the sparrow, dove and the jay
one by one flew away
and by the following month of May
the body slowly went to decay.

The devotees were scared away,
‘the curse, the curse,’ they were heard to say,
‘who brought it on? Let us chase him away,
blasphemer, religious-runaway.’
Should I open my bosom and betray
my petition to the lord that fateful day
that I was slowly wasting away
sweeping the blossoms night and day?
Or should I believe what some others say
as the details are given away
of that ominous day in May
when in foolish fervour, if I may,
the devotees had a field day
as cement, concrete and marble-inlay
filled where they dug away
the soft, warm and fertile clay
that held your roots, O! Amaltas gay.

A corpse now stands in the way
where your majesty once held sway
and poured fresh petals each day
on pilgrims coming all the way
to the lord, their homage to pay.

Jammu - 1 May 1993



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