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Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri



Paush Amavasya Night

There is nothing as serene and quiet
as the Paush Amavasya night
while on your climb
to your rendezvous
with the lord up the hill.

On this cloudless, faultless night
the stars lean low
to touch your brow
as they come out in formations,
galaxies, clusters, constellations,
the whole treasure trove,
vying with each other
to make a reverential bow.

The hills around you, one and all,
in trance-like embrace rise and fall,
the bushes dissolve in the hush of night,
the last of the birds flits home to roost,
and angels lead you by the hand
on your onward upward march.

Wrongly has the Arnavasya night
been dreaded and decried
and unfair allusions made
to this fifteenth night
of the moonless fortnight
with ungainliness and fright
when it stands out to epitomise
the supreme lunar sacrifice
as she obliterates herself
so the stars may shine
their brightest and the best
on this cosmic tryst.

And it is not without reason
that the legendary Yaksha
chooses Paush Arnavasya night
for his yearly earthly trip
to feast on a dinner
of rice, radish and raw fish
in the tranquil starlight,
and offer you a chance bright
to snatch his cap if you might
and secure it under a millstone,
for then and then alone,
and for as long as it remains there,
fortune will smile on its heir.

Only the Paush Amavasya night
offers this opportunity bright
to transform a dark night
into a beneficent sight,
only the Paush Amavasya night.

Jammu - December 1995



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