On the path of nothingness we returned;
before us stood the bright prajApati,
with rudra’s bright dart pinning him to the welkin.
In one hand we held an iron trident,
in the other we held a skull.
Beyond the carcass of prajapati
shone his wain, with the ruddy gem in it struck.
Further ahead shone the six mothers,
of our patron god with the spear.
Around us stood the city’s denizens.
We were reminded of the bygone days.
that strangely to us seemed so near.
The prodigious one did aim,
a kite in the firmament to place.
The muni batted an eyelid not,
and like the wise vainaemoinen
pronounced in the inner mind:
“this contraption is ain’t flying”.
This wisdom struck us not then.
We unheedingly declared then
that we seek not to get
worthless basalt home
in place of metal that we sought.
Chasing phantasms and black shadows,
we wandered on the plains of khANDava,
thrilled fleetingly by the merriment
of our blithe fellow-farers,
verily like the Lankan prince
in the pleasure house in bhArata.
Chasing that dark shade,
down the dark alley we coursed.
At the bend in the path
concealing the grim unknown,
the shade was unmasked!
Out came the rAkShasi,
indeed laughing hideously
even as jarA in a magadhan midden.
Our reverie broke.
The wayfarers of uncontrolled gaiety
receded into the chaos,
even as the sUtaputra and suyodhana
were seen vanishing
into the gape of vishvarUpa.
Alone on the path of sorrow,
we stood staring–
the slow changing heavens
in the daily circuits.
The bleak shriek of vAta and
the rAkShasi beyond.