Poems by Nandini Sahu
Sita (A Poem)
I am Prakriti; born of and fading into Mother Nature.
I am Shakti, phenomenal destroyer of Ravana.
I am grace; I stand for mercy, bounty and redemption.
I am the ultimate woman; the glorious mother of Lava-Kusha.
I am Nature; I have inestimable moods and assortments.
I am power; I have innumerable appearances on earth.
I am splendor; I transcend the crimson womanly.
I am pure bliss; I float as foam on the sea of frenzy.
I am innocence; born naked from the furrow.
I am a teardrop; I stand for the mourning -mortality.
I am a bird; grasped and fluttered to withdrawn regions.
I am a memory; sweltering and reverberating time and again.
I am birth; my girlhood is joyous with simmering intimations.
I am growth; I burn in the flame of the fire-ordeal.
I am death; I overpower Ravana, I eclipse evil.
I am immaculate; I have the attitude for the tide of sovereignty.
I am mighty; my power lies in ultimate motherhood.
I am divine; my love and grace redeems the universe.
I am humane; I suffer like any mortal average.
I am benevolence; let them admire my compassionate pedigree.
I am malevolence; I care no birth, bondage and death.
Sita (A Poem)
I am away from Rama since ages, but my eternal monologue continues.
I have been taking births and rebirths, my
thirst unquenched, my heart passion-drenched.
I distribute myself into atoms in my rebirths; in the
‘sitaness’ of every woman Sita eternally breaths.
I am re-born as Mother Teresa, Florence
Nightingale, Lucy Grey, Helen of Troy, Cleopatra,
Atlanta, Cordelia, Desdemona, Penelope, Sylvia Plath,
Athena, Kunti, Draupadi, Gandhari, Shakuntala,
Radha, Meerabai, Kalpana Chawla, Kiran Bedi,
Indira, Nirbhaya, Damini, Lata ,Nandini, Rebati or Anandi.
I live numerous lives, in women, bold and beautiful.
In the Ramayana, my incandescent strength
did resolute my character and self-respect.
That was my aura, not to acknowledge opposing infringements.
Trijala was another form of Sita in my
incarceration, in our fellow feeling and feminine bonding.
I was the spark in Mandoodari, who
questioned her husband Ravana poignantly
even on his deathbed. I was in Urmila,
in her patient waiting, her merciful self-control.
I was in Draupadi, who wandered with her
five husbands in the forest for twelve years
and got disrobed in the Kuru Sabha in
their silent protest. I got burnt with my humiliation
in her sinuous open hair. And I lived in her
platonic love for her sakha, Lord Krishna.
I lived in Nirbhaya, gang-raped in a
moving Delhi bus; I struggled, I survived, I perished,
enkindling the fire of truth amongst mankind.
I have heard, Ravana was a great scholar,
A yogic personality, who poised ‘Shiva
Tandava Stotra.’ Then how could he desire another’s wife?
I was never the subdued woman as painted in
Tulsidas’ Ramacharitamanas. I was eternally
pure, eternally chaste. Sufi poet Mullah Masiha
has likened me to the soul. Like soul
that is eternally covered by the body, Sita
is infinitely covered by clothes, never disrobed.
(There are a little more than three hundred versions of the Ramayana written over the centuries since Valmiki first wrote it. My poem Sita is, in no way, a retelling of The Ramayana. It is, rather, penned as a poetic memoir of the heroine of the epic, Sita, told in the first person narrative. Sita(A Poem) is seminal to my thoughts on life that find expression in the creative impulse of literature. It has always been with me, sometimes haunting and at others, fuelling the mind in all thought and action. In that sense, it could perhaps be one of my most ambitious, endearing ecofeministic poems. One long poem, it’s presented in 25 sections/cantos. This is a small part of the 24th Canto and the complete 25th Canto of the long poem.)
About the poet
Dr.Nandini Sahu is an Associate Professor of English in IGNOU, New Delhi, India. She is a poet,creative writer and literary critic; is the author/editor of eleven books, and has several research papers published in India, U.S.A., U.K. and Pakistan. Her areas of research interest cover New Literatures, Critical Theory, Folklore and Culture Studies, Children’s Literature, American Literature and ELT. She is the Chief Editor of two bi-annual refereed journals, Interdisciplinary Journal of Literature and Language(IJLL) and Panorama Literaria(PL).