Eighteenth Evening

Scene:

The chamber of King Dhritarashtra is dimly lightened as he sat on his throne (asanas) in silent. He was silent and lost. Sanjay his charioteer and adviser is only with him. He is standing at the windows of the chamber and looking over the vast expanse of exterior of Hastinapur. The Battle of Kurukshetra has ended last day, after eighteen days, with the killing of the elder Kaurava Duryodhana in the hand of second Pandava brother Bhim. Sanjay looked at his king; the light of the west sun not touching where he is sitting creating a chiaroscuro environ in the room. The tired bated breath of the King was getting surpassed to Sanjay as the last few days sounds still enthrall him. He looked at the horizon, and said to self–

Sanjay:

Deepness lies there in the open vastness, spread over the expanse of the field

to whom I am questionable to; to whom shall I pass this account of witness.

the wind that murmuring through out the field is it the wind or is it some soldier,

innocent and only there to fight for few golds, or,

as a man who should join the army for the king–

the age old tradition; you deny the duty to your King and reject to pay his

due you’re just incompetent as a man, you’re just an eunuch.

Dhritarashtra the King had regreted, when Krishna had shown his divine entity

‘fore all this started; now he’s silent not asking a question;

he’s not crying, he’s not raging he’s there sitting and lost;

his thoughts I can’t fathom; what’ll he dream to-night or had he ever dreamt.

Being a blind he had listened to a lot; had witness the events through his senses–

the defeat of Pandavas in the dice game, the urge of Draupadi before Dushyasan

tried to robe her off her honor, the wise advice of Bhisma, the plotting of Shakuni.

The silent wind over the battlefield; the orange of the west sun at the horizon

he hadn’t seen them it was I who had seen them, he hadn’t listened to war cries,

conch of the maharathis blown before the war for the day began, and the moans

of the soldiers while they die or breathing for the last few moments in the eve.

it was I who had listened to them. It was I who had to witness the killing of

Abhimanyu in the Chakravyuh; it was me who’d to see the assassination of Karna

by Arjun while he was armless, and struggling to pulled out the wheels of his

chariot from the ground, it was me who had to say all those incidents

never missing a bit out; I was there in the field, each and every eighteen days.

The conscience of the human get lost when it comes to their vanities,

when their ego get hurts, for their own deeds which they blame on others.

the war was not needed; the truce was not needed; the needed was listening.

the voice of Duryodhana still I can hear when he had said not to surrender

a land, even if it’s on tip of a needle, until he had die. The righteous ruler

will be judge by whom. The father or people of the kingdom. It is the time to me.

The enterprise of reasons and reasoning thus lie there, out there in the battle field

as they lie there lifeless on the battlefield

surrounding Bhisma on his bed of arrows,

on the bank of Dwaipayana where the eldest of Kaurava lies lifeless.

The sun now setting down bringing the darkness over the deads,–

man, horses, ethics, morality.

The battle was not needed but needed to set the balance

of good and its spoiled form, vanity and essence of it, age and its weight

in the form that is needed for next few decades, for next few chapters.


Written for Day 15 of National/Global Poem Writing Month 2019.

Prompt:

Our prompt for today (optional, as always), takes its inspiration from the idea of a poem as a sort of tiny play, which can be performed dramatically. In the 1800s, there was quite a fad for monologue-style poems that lend themselves extremely well to dramatic interpretations And Shakespeare’s plays are chock-a-block with them. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write your own dramatic monologue. It doesn’t have to be quite as serious as Browning or Shakespeare, of course, but try to create a sort of specific voice or character that can act as the “speaker” of your poem, and that could be acted by someone reciting the poem.

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