October 24, 2010

Halt, Who Goes There



(Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh)


Before I let you pass,
Tell me, O traveller,
What brings you here,
And I’ll let you wander among the walls.

You’ll pass unnoticed, for
The alleys are mostly empty.
And while divinity seemingly hangs by a thread
Faith stretches back to before time.

Mornings are rituals,
The Sun commands as offerings from the faithful,
Seeking light
To dispel real or imagined darkness.

Many a wandering feet have passed this way,
Seeking redemption for their ways elsewhere.
Some found it,
Others failed to recognize it.



My horns might’ve blunted,
And my forehead tender.
Yet my legs hold me up
So I may ask of you, again:

Before I let you pass,
Tell me, O traveller,
What brings you here,
And I’ll let you wander among the walls.



* The goat only relented after I shared with it the picture preview!

36 comments:

Meena Venkataraman said...

Beautiful!

Cynthia Pittmann said...

Beautiful poem, Anil, and the goat was just overcome with momentary shyness masked as stubbornness. I know this because I once had a pet award winning goat, Cin-cin, which as you may suspect, was named after me! :-)

Riot Kitty said...

Nice!

dr.antony said...

Anil,
It is simply beautiful.
How well you write! The words simply merge with your pictures.I dont know if others noticed.There is melancholy on its face.

Anil P said...

Meena Venkataraman: Thank you.

Cynthia Pittmann: Thank you. That's interesting - Cin-cin. I'll ask to see its picture. I'm sure it must've been quite a character.

Riot Kitty: Thank you.

Dr. Anthony:Thank you. Sometimes moments just flow.

It must've been sad from standing at guard there, a gate keeper of sorts.

I saw many sad goats on my travels at the time.

Anu said...

Nice one!! this is the second blog I have seen this week with a goat in it!!! which just tells you how common they are on our streets...

Gauri Gharpure said...

wonderful, especially the lines "some found it, others failed to recognize it"

also love the unfazed manner in which the goat is staring right into the lens..

radha said...

Nice post! You seemed to have done some mind reading... :-)

Rakhi said...

Beautiful piece of poetry! very evocative.

Grannymar said...

I loved the pictures from the camera and the words!

Niamh B said...

Fantastic Pictures - the goat looks big enough to eat those people in the second one, and a lovely thoughtful poem to go with it.

Lynn said...

Lovely words and nice of the goat to pose so nicely for you. :)

Lakshminarayan Viju Ravichandran said...

Nice beautiful post.
Loved the lines
'Many a wandering feet have passed this way,
Seeking redemption for their ways elsewhere.
Some found it,
Others failed to recognize it.'

Kamini said...

Really nice -- I am very fond of goats, so this was special!

M S Raghunandan said...

very nice poem. congrats.

Anil P said...

Anu: Thank you. They sure are common on Indian streets, even if not as easily visible as freelance cows roaming about.

Gauri Gharpure: Thank you. I would assume goats from Varanasi are a hardened lot.

Radha: Thank you. Blame it on the vibes that pass back and forth, blunted horns et al :-)

Rakhi: Thank you.

Grannymar: Thanks.

Niamh B: Thank you. The goat was big, and probably kept watch over the kids running about in the alley.

Lynn: IT was probably curious of how the pictures would turn out.

L Viju Ravichandran: Thank you. That's how it is with most of us, isn't it, that we might go searching for something later because we probably missed seeing it earlier even though it stared us in the face.

Kamini: Thank you.

M Raghunandan: Thank you :-)

liveonimpulse said...

lovely poetry !! and what a photograph to accompany it :)

nightflier said...

Loved it! :) The goat must have mistaken you for 'the man who stared at goats' and hence the awkward moment..

P.S. came across an interesting bio after a long time!!!
I am blogrolling you if you dont mind i.e.

Nisha said...

Ha Ha...
* The goat only relented after I shared with it the picture preview! made me laugh.


I loved the way you wrote those lines.

Again a lovely story...

Anil P said...

Liveonimpulse: Thank you.

Nightflier: It was probably bewildered upon facing its own likeness but on two legs.

Thank you. You sure can. Nice to know you liked the post.

Nisha: Thank you. In its previous reincarnation it must have been a pesky photographer scurrying about in Varanasi looking for pictures to make.

TALON said...

I smiled at the goat wanting photo confirmation!

What a beautiful poem, Anil.

"And while divinity seemingly hangs by a thread
Faith stretches back to before time." - just gorgeous writing!

Maalie said...

I had a recommendation to visit your blog and, indeed, it is truly fascinating! Thank you.

Anil P said...

Talon: Thank you. The goat must be a reincarnation of a fastidious photographer from a previous birth :-)

Maalie: Thank you. Always encouraging to be told the posts are liked. Thank you for visiting. Just curious of the recommendation you mention.

Rajlakshmi said...

lovely... beatiful verses complimenting the story the story by your photographs,

Amber Star said...

Strangely enough that is the same "challenge" I make when I hear someone come in the back door. It has always been one of my children or my husband, but how freaky it would be if I got no answer.

Have missed reading you, but have had some health problems...broken arm and the laptop was difficult to manage. I'm healing nicely, but it will be until next July before I'm totally well. Good to see you again....with a goat story.

Anil P said...

Rajlakshmi: Thank you.

Amber Star: Good to see you too. Sad to hear of the arm injury. Glad to know it is healing up. Wish you a speedy recovery.

dilontherocks said...

Well written Anil.

Yeah. The goat looks angry in the first picture..:)

Indian Bazaars said...

Every verse so beautiful!

Snaggle Tooth said...

I like your poem, n am indeed reminded of the "Three Billy Goats Gruff" childrens story I read when young.
Your recent visit to ESR on Cape Cod USA recently brings me here- Thanks! (Do I get to pass?)

Anil P said...

Dilontherocks: Thank you. Possibly :-)

Indian Bazaars: Thank you.

Snaggle Tooth: Thanks. I'm not sure, you'll have to ask the goat :-)

Robyn said...

very beautiful!

uma.a said...

Beautiful Poetry!

Someone said...

Loveliest post ever. :)

Anil P said...

Robyn: Thank you.

Uma.A: Thank you.

Someone: Thank you. The goat will be happy with this outcome.

anoop said...

gave me a smile on a boring wednesday morning at work!

Anil P said...

Anoop: Thank you. In corners goats can provide unexpected relief sometimes.