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Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri



The Spirit Does Not Accept Exile

Why doesnít the first flush of dawn
titillate the numbed senses
into wakefulness
and initiate me
to the call of duty?

Why donít the myriad temples
that abound here in exile
evoke fervour and devotion
and the intensity and passion
of a votary?

Why donít the ringing of bells
the chanting of bhajans,
the music of drums and cymbals,
draw me out of my muse
to rush for the daily prayer?

Why donít the Trikuta
and the Pirpanjal
beckon me to heights
where pure joy abides
as did the Mahadev
and the Shankaracharya hill?

Why doesnít the Tawi,
as it flows in the fullness of rain
skirting this temple city,
hold me spellbound
as did the Vitasta.

Why doesnít the sun
when it rises and sets here
draw the mantra
ĎOm bhoor bhuva suvabí
spontaneously from my lips?

Why doesnít the blanket of night
envelop my tired soul
in the peaceful bliss
of dreamful sleep?

Why, though I eat and dress and live
and go about my chores as before,
does the spirit refuse to soar
as the present in exile
changes places with the past
and the mind drifts and roams
in the length and breadth
of my home of yore?

Jammu - 18 September 1992



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