Sundara Kãnda: Hanuman’s Odyssey
If Mahabharata’s Bhagvad-Gita is taken as a philosophical guide, Ramayana’s Sundara Kãnda is sought for spiritual solace; many believe that reading it or hearing it recited would remove all hurdles and usher in good tidings! Miracles apart, it’s in the nature of this great epic to inculcate fortitude and generate hope in man for it’s a depiction of how Hanuman goes about his errand against all odds. Besides, it portrays how Seetha, on the verge of self-immolation, overcomes despair to see life in a new light? With rhythm of its verse and the flow of the narrative this sloka to sloka transcreation of the canto beautiful of Valmiki’s adi kavya – the foremost poetical composition in the world, Hanuman’s Odyssey that paves the way for Rama to rescue his kidnapped wife is bound to charm the readers and listeners alike. Interestingly, as the following verse illustrates, it was the forerunner of the magic realism of our times – “Gripped she then him by shadow / Cast which Hanuman coast to coast, Recalled he in dismay then / What Sugreev said at outset / That one fiend had aptitude / To grip its prey by mere shadow.”
Link to the free ebook at Project Gutenberg Self-Publishing Press http://www.gutenberg.us/eBooks/WPLBN0002097653-Sundara-Kanda-by-Murthy-B-S-.aspx?
Canto 1 - Hurdles in Skies
Egged on by peers Vayu’s son
Enshrined by man as Hanuman
Enthused himself to shoulder
Search of Seetha, Rama’s spouse
Snared whom Ravan to Lanka
Sea across that hundred leagues.
With his head then held so high
Gained he size for task on hand.
On that Mahendra mountain then
Colossus like he sauntered there.
Uprooted were trees all those
Brushed as with his chest that strong.
Varied hues of elements there
Made that mountain resplendent.
Grace angels those hill ranges
For their honeymoon so near moon.
At length he reached that hilltop
Lay where elephants in their scores.
Besides Brahma ’n Surya
Prayed he Indra and Vayu.
Facing east he sought blessings
Of Vayu then his Wind God dad
And grew more by turning south.
Grew as Hanuman more and more
To cross that sea vast as it roared
With full tides of full-moon night
Came he face to face with clouds.
As though to test that mountain
Whether it’s right for his take-off
Tapped it Hanuman with his feet.
Shook that mountain his impinge
Shed trees flowers of hues varied.
Flowers all fell then covered it full
Spread they fragrance far and wide.
Welled out water in thick springs
Such was pressure of Hanuman’s feel.
From the cracks it developed thus
Creaked out molten metals varied.
While huge boulders slid in scores
Out came smoke in thick columns.
With that squeeze it came under
Cried all creatures in their caves.
Frightened was no less wildlife
Heard were their howls world over.
In their state of confusion
Serpents with all fiery fangs
Marks of swastik on their hoods
Spewed then venom in profusion.
Venom they spit was fireball like
Turned to tiny stones there rocks.
Herbs of anti-venom were there
Turned though antidote none of them.
Felt all yogis spirit at play
Took to their heels demigods then.
Not to speak of vessels of gold
In their fright gods left all goods.
In panic they left mid-meal
Thought they none of gold armour.
In their sodden demeanours then
Reached they all their heavenly homes.
Amorous angels in their scores
Built their love-nests in those skies.
Ascetics of earth ascended
For bird’s eye view of Hanuman’s feat.
Heard all averments of siddhas
As well seers all stationed there.
Hill like Hanuman is all set
Agile as ether to cross seas.
It was vanar Lord Sugreev
That sent him on Ram’s errand.
Angels there who heard those words
Looked at Hanuman then wide-eyed.
Raring to go then Hanuman
Slapped his thighs and roared like clouds.
Stretched he full then his long tail
Jerked it like would eagle its prey.
Circled Hanuman his tail then
Looked that eagle-clawed serpent.
Set to take off on that flight
Stance he took for task that tough.
In that as he shrugged himself
Seemed he eager and vigorous.
Stared he long at his flight route
Deep breathed he for take-off then.
All set to go Hanuman then
Thought it fit to them address
Folks his who were so anxious.
Spoke he thus to assure them:
Won’t I dart like Ram’s arrow
To Ravan’s land there lay yonder?
No sooner than I set foot
Find I Rama’s spouse Seetha.
Were I to happen to fail there
Won’t I rush to heaven itself?
Were I to land in blind alley
Won’t I go back to Lanka?
Prevail I over Ravan then
And fetch Seetha unfettered
With him in tow but in chains.
As he took-off he declared
Comes it ever if to the brink
Uproot he would all Lanka
And bring it as gift to Lord Ram.
By the thrust of his take-off
Sucked in were trees into flight.
As he flew at jet speed then
Tailed him trees with birds on them
And buds that flowered in between.
In truck with him all of them
Seemed they relatives at send off.
Sal trees then too followed suit
Seemed he spearhead of large force.
With the flowers and birds in tow
Made then Hanuman wondrous sight.
In time weakened as the pull
Dropped all trees in those waters.
Covered as he by flowers and all
Hanuman flew then glowworm like.
As he shrugged off in mid-air
Fell some flowers on salt waters.
Turned as flower-bed sea that vast
Seemed it then like star filled sky.
Flowers of varied hues on him
Rainbow on move made him seem.
Sonic boom of Hanuman’s flight
Scattered flowers on those waters
Seemed then that sea sky at dawn.
Arms his outstretched in his flight
Looked like serpents with five hoods.
Filled his shadow shore to shore
Though he picked up Mach two speed.
Sparkled his eyes as in flight
Seemed some lava there in flow.
Wide open were his bright eyes
Seemed they sun ’n moon in skies.
With his rosy nose-tip then
Looked he like the setting sun.
In flight his tail that was long
Banner then of Indra seemed.
With the sparkling teeth of his
And the tail thus well coiled
Sun like aura Hanuman had.
Blood red as those Hanuman’s hinds
Seemed they red hills well sundered.
Wind as passed through his armpits
Roared it then like lightning clouds.
Mistook him then sky watchers
For some meteor that was rare.
In flight he looked like elephant
With its tail spread round its waist.
Shadow that he cast on seas
Seemed to all a speeding boat.
Concord like he moved in skies
Caused he whirlpools in the seas.
With his broad chest Hanuman did
Ward off sea tides that reached him.
As he speeded in his flight
Formed a cyclone in the skies
Caused that storm then in the seas.
Mean sea level as rose to skies
Made he light of all those tides.
As he sped he seemed to count
Mountain tides that so neared him.
Splash from tides as foamed the skies
Gave that silver coat to space.
Torn as thus the water sheet
Felt all fish as turned naked.
Water snakes as sighted skies
Feared they eagle was on prowl.
Thick and wide was his shadow
Seemed so symmetric to one’s eyes.
Sped as he past in high skies
Seemed his shadow like a cloud.
Looked then Hanuman in motion
Like a mountain with huge wings.
Split as that sea in columns
Cruisers they seemed in his chase.
Coursed as he thus Garuda like
In those skies that filled with birds
Wind like then he scattered clouds.
Clouds as all then went askance
Shone they well in colours varied.
In and out of clouds Hanuman
Seemed he like the moon on course.
In awe celestial beings then
Myriad flowers they showered on him.
Filtered Surya his heat then
While made easy breeze Vayu.
Sang his praises seers all there
Awestruck angels his prowess.
Wondered at his endurance
Angels all who watched him then.
Felt thus Sagar, Lord of Seas
For whom Rama’s cause came first.
Were I to fail to help Hanuman
Make I myself blameworthy.
Won’t I owe my reign and all
To Ram’s ancestor, my namesake?
For he exerts for Ram’s cause
Bound am I to help Hanuman.
Spoke then Sagar to Mainak
Prince of hills with golden peaks
Made who ocean bed his home.
Confined were thou by Indra
On my bed for ever so long
Barrier though as to netherworld.
Demons all for that lay therein
Block thou approach to this world.
Prowess such is unique thine
Expand thou the way thy wish.
Behold Hanuman as he flies
Head over mine for Ram’s sake.
Owe that I his ancestor
Seek I now thy helping hand
To let our Hanuma serve Rama.
Fail if we to help him out
Enrage we might angels all.
Shoot up forthwith in his path
To let him rest on peak thy high.
Hanuman is so long in flight
Feel I time he rests a while.
Lighten if thou his burden
Brings it end to Rama’s plight
Agony as well of his spouse.
Shoot up now O golden hill
Graced by varied vegetation.
Came out then as Mainaka
Depths of sea from that so deep
Scene it made like mid-day sun
Came out as it from thick clouds.
In the midst of sea that vast
Shone then Mainak like Surya.
Lovers all there as lay languid
Skimmed its peaks the rim of skies.
With his golden peak Mainak
Shone he then like rising sun.
In time as he showed up full
Dazzled he like suns in scores.
Mistook Hanuman for hurdle
Mainak who rose to the skies.
Not the one to get daunted
Hanuman toppled Mainaka
With his bare chest that was strong.
Turned as he all turtle then
Mainaka was so dumbfounded.
So as a way to woo Hanuman
Assumed Mainak human form.
It’s my request O Hanuman
That thee rest on my shoulder.
It was Rama’s ancestor
Helped who seas all to expand
That’s why grateful Lord of Seas
Sent me to help thee take rest.
Well it’s adage that so old
Help we must all those us help
Sees thus Sagar as favour
Rest if thou on my shoulder.
Wants me Sagar make thou feel
At home on my peak utmost.
Pray thee break now on my back
Non-stop flight leagues eight hundred.
Might as well thou savour now
Smell-well fruits of rarest taste.
Have as we such ties us bind
Consent thou to strengthen them.
Cross as thou sea Concord like
Proud are all of us of thee.
Make as thee our V.I.P
Guests all we give due respect.
Amongst demigods rank thee high
Speed thine no less than thy dad.
Let if am I to serve thee
Feel I served thy dad as well
Hold I whom in special esteem.
Had all mountains wings in yore
Hovered thus they all three worlds.
Scared all angels and sages
Mischance could well cause us crash.
It’s thus Indra clipped our wings
With the diamond sword of his.
Came in time as my own turn
Unsheathed Indra diamond sword,
Spiriting me off with gale wind
It’s thy dad that saved my wings.
Owing to thy parent’s grace
Wings mine escaped Indra’s wrath.
See in this I golden chance
Debt to repay benefactor.
Pray thee give a chance to us
Redeem that we age old debt.
Now thou consent O great soul
Rest have thee as our dear guest.
Hanuman at that told Mainak:
Words though thine me move no end
Precedence takes now Rama’s cause.
Stop if I now in mid-flight
How am I to meet deadline?
Token then as of his love
Caressed Hanuman Mainak’s head.
Moved were Sagar ’n Mainak
At the way thus Hanuman placed
Lord’s his interest above all else.
Bidding adieu to them both
Picked up Hanuman height in flight.
While on course in skies Hanuman
Looked at them both in reverence.
Well in awe at what they saw
Praised all angels Hanuman then.
Standing ovation gave Indra
With other gods to Mainaka.
Heartened then by his gesture
Addressed Indra Mainak thus:
Pleased as gods all Mainaka
Feel at ease as I leave thee free.
In spite of the threat I posed
Came out thou to aid Hanuman.
In thy bid to help Hanuman
Tried thee to aid Rama’s cause.
Indra as thus assured him
Breathed then easy that mountain.
Cherished as Mainak his freedom
Sped past Hanuman by him then.
Thought it fit then gods to put
Hanuman to test in his quest
Spoke they thus to mother of snakes:
Well O Surasa see Hanuman
Flies he how to find Seetha
Sea this across to Lanka!
Pray posit thyself in his way
Obstruct him with ogress frame.
Test we must the mettle in him
Moves on or he beats retreat.
Egged on thus by gods themselves
Surasa came to confront him.
With its ogress look Surasa
Addressed Hanuman in mid-air.
Gods all destined thy large frame
Serves as sumptuous meal for me.
Without a twitch of his eyelids
Addressed Hanuman that ogress.
Let me tell thee what happened
To Ram ’n Seetha as they stayed
With Lakshman in tow in Dandak.
Sent evil Ravan Maareecha
Decoy as to lure Rama
And snared his spouse to Lanka.
Set as I on Seetha’s trial
And live as thou by Rama’s grace
Pray thee not put stop to that.
Eye me if thou as thy prey
As soon as I finish my task
Return I would to oblige thee.
Surasa made him then privy
Boon which Brahma gave to her
That none can ever pass her by
Until and unless she lets go.
Having ignored Surasa’s threat
Kept as Hanuman his own course
To test him thus she engaged him.
None there is an escape route
Settled it all that Brahma’s boon
As and when I come in way
Pass all through but mine own mouth.
Enraged Hanuman dared Surasa
See if she could swallow him.
Neared as she with hill like mouth
Outgrew Hanuman mountain like.
Stretched she jaws then undaunted
Tides that took and clouds in stride.
Stalling Surasa’s great swallow
Assumed Himalayan size Hanuman.
Stretched she into troposphere
Touched he then the stratosphere.
None less was the mother serpent
Mouth she widened enough for him.
Hanuman to thwart her for all
Raised himself to heaven itself.
Snarled then she her mouth awful
Enough to engulf heaven and earth.
With his presence of mind Hanuman
Turned then simian with thin tail.
Before she could drop her jaws
Traversed Hanuman through her mouth.
Gaped as Surasa spoke Hanuman:
Came out as I from thy mouth
Boon of Brahma thus fulfilled
Feel I am a free bird now.
Seemed he then to Surasa’s eyes
Like the moon that’s past eclipse.
Spoke thus Surasa to Hanuman:
Go on with no hindrance now
And bring Seetha back to Ram.
Looked all worlds in wonderment
Hanuman’s feat that third in row.
Having tricked that Surasa thus
Then in high skies flew Hanuman.
Celestial singers there he saw
Stable of Airavat as well.
With features of earth’s wildlife
Saw he flying beasts in skies.
With their aura of angels
Lived all righteous people there.
Went he near to sun ’n moon
Saw he Agni conduits who
Oblations to gods all there.
It’s the region that ruled by
Visvavas the king that fair
Live where angels ’n such like
Besides good souls after death.
Entered he then that region
Serves as canopy of three worlds,
Path there sun ’n moon doth share
With Indra’s stable of white elephants.
Saw them he all in their turn
Martyrs all of great battles.
Clouds of myriad colours in skies
Scattered were by Hanuman’s thrust.
Clouds with playing hide and seek
In skies then he shone like moon.
Flying non-stop in high skies
Looked he like a winged mountain.
Seeing Hanuman thus speeding
Fiendish Simhik turned greedy.
Was there ever a prey like this?
What a sumptuous meal it makes!
Gripped she then him by shadow
Cast which Hanuman coast to coast.
Ship in sail as up the wind
Slowed down Hanuman in his course.
At last as he looked for clue
Found his shadow in fiend’s grip.
Recalled he in dismay then
What Sugreev said at outset
That one fiend had aptitude
To grip its prey by mere shadow.
Stuck as he got in spite of
Effort his great to speed up well
Realized that he was its prey.
Grew he then to fill the skies
Cast his shadow on all earth.
At that Simhik came jumping
At him with her cave-like mouth.
Sensed as he then her intent
Hanuman thought then better of it.
As with Surasa so with her
Turned he simian in no time
And thus entered her wide mouth.
Seen in awe by all angels
It was as if moon eclipsed.
Into Simhik as he went
Vitals her tore with his nails.
Moaned as she then in great pain
Opened she wide mouth her large,
Came out as he from her then
Stopped she moaning as she died.
Torso as her sank in seas
Flight he resumed in those skies.
Saw all demigods his great deed
Showered they praises then on him.
Blessed him angels nonetheless
Wished him well on his errand.
Felt all Hanuman’s great passion
Search for Seetha, Rama’s spouse
Worth it was for Hall of Fame.
Flew as he leagues eight-hundred
Saw he yonder some island.
On that horizon came to sight
Found he tree-lines touching skies.
Landed he soon on high peak
Of the Malaya mountain range.
Like a mountain on the move
Sauntered Hanuman on that high.
Felt he then that his giant size
Won’t make spying his easy.
It’s thus Hanuman thought it fit
Better he assumed simian shape.
It was akin to Vishnu
Becoming pygmean to push down
Bali into depths of earth.
Before he turned a small fry then
Looked he at his huge frame though.
Climbed he Lamba Mountain then
Had which countless coconut crowns.
For the close up of the town
Jumped onto ground then Hanuman.
Sea across that miles and miles
In the end then thus Hanuman
Made his way to Ravan’s land.
Canto 2 - City in Clouds
On the landmass of Lanka
Chitrakoot was the king mountain
Kissed its peaks all clouds in skies
Reigned Ravan from peak foremost.
Climbed as Hanuman that mountain
Rained all trees then flowers on him.
Such was stamina of Hanuman
Fresh he looked from that short rest.
Felt he had still left in him
Strength to circle earth itself.
Flying wonder that Hanuman
Powerful soldier none the less.
Green all yonder found Hanuman
Reached as he that mountain range.
Valleys all of that hill range
Had thick trees ’n wide gardens.
Had he thus a full measure of
Land of Ravan that was green.
Bore all trees there fruits varied
Besides date palms and santras.
Thick were bushes on those hills
Fragrant flowers all bloomed therein.
Birds well nestled on trees all there
Rustled leaves were by southern breeze.
Graced flowers lotus tanks all those
Swans in them swam with rare grace.
Grew fruits well in all seasons
Well-grown farms in scores there lay.
Itching to search Ravan’s town
Hanuman in time reached its gates.
Lest Rama should sneak in there
On high alert were Ravan’s troops.
Bricks of gold made Lanka’s wall
Kissed its castles clouds in skies.
Mansions it had in millions
Wide ’n well laid were there roads.
Climbed creepers green gold arches
Looked like Lanka heaven on earth.
Seemed as Lanka city in clouds
Lay dwellings on mountain peaks.
Built it was by gods’ builder
Earned it fame in Ravan’s reign.
Lankan fort in that sea then
Seemed like saree clad maiden,
Compound wall its laid in gold
Looked like virgin’s narrow waist,
Long-range guns its plaits parted
Seemed as gables gold ear-rings.
Moved as Hanuman languidly
Thought he thus in wonderment:
Sky scrappers these of Lanka
Won’t they lead to heaven itself!
None but Kubera owned it once
But vile Ravan grabbed from him.
Demons then came to own this place
Teeth that protrude seem them fiends.
Such as reside in Lanka
Circled by seas as it were
Foe to fear made king Ravan.
Came as cropper demigods all
Of what avail Rama’s vanar force!
Maginot line that Ravan built
Find would Rama hard to breach.
Rich as Lankans ’n powerful
Bribe ’n bravery might not work.
But for Angad, Neel ’n Sugreev
Rest might get stuck at these gates.
Place why horse before the cart
Makes it sense to strive my best.
So felt Hanuman it’s proper
Handled he better task on hand.
With my normal simian form
Won’t I hoodwink Ravan’s men?
Big and powerful they are all
How to throw wool in their eyes!
Why not I turn tinier
And wait till the sun goes down.
Lying in wait Hanuman then
Weighed all options on his hand.
Not by letting Ravan’s men
Smell a rat of my spying
How am I to find Seetha!
Without muddling my errand
How to find here Seetha soon?
Towel in throws as night at dawn
Confronted by unforeseen
Mid-course dullards leave their jobs.
Mission one’s awry goes for sure
Meddles if one in half knowledge.
Thus for having come so far
Why not carry Seetha’s word
For the waiting ears of Ram.
Stop me if these in my tracks
Derailed gets then Seetha’s search.
How to look for Rama’s spouse
Unseen by these guards in scores!
Given the strength of their network
None the disguise might well work.
Were I to surface as it were
Might I as well get captured.
Makes it eminent if I move
With darkness to aid me well.
It’s night that makes conducive
To search Ravan’s own premises.
Having worked out his plan thus
Waited Hanuman moon to come.
When the sun went out of scene
Cat-like instinct showed Hanuman.
Airborne was he soon over
Lanka’s well-laid avenues all.
Pillars silver had buildings
Windows whose wore golden frames.
Built were mansions eight-storied
Set on gold floors were cat’s eyes.
Stuccoes precious gems had walls
Adorned pearls their wide doors all.
Domes there were all gold plated
Bright they were by day and night.
Having had a bird’s- eye view
Flustered Hanuman Lanka’s wealth.
Land that was of king Ravan
Domicile of those demons varied.
As if to show him the way
Moon came out in full bloom then.
In the moon rays of full moon
Seen Hanuman the green signal.
Canto 3 - Prelude to Entry
Having hovered in the skies
Landed Hanuman in Lanka.
Bypassed Hanuman those sentries
Manned who Lanka’s gates all there.
Such was mirth of Lankans then
Matched in decibels roars of seas
Graced that place with soothing breeze.
Lived there people strong ’n stout
Carved were elephants on main gates.
Of the star-filled bluish skies
Mirror image so Lanka seemed.
Unfurled sea breeze Lankan flags
Unleashed tinkles their trinkets.
Onto Lankan wall he jumped
Got he then a bird’s-eye view.
Doors there all were gold plated
Paved were verandahs with corals.
Facades were all filled with gems
Rooftops there had gold elephants.
Cat’s eyes inlaid staircases
Furnished well were drawing rooms.
In tandem with those tinkles
Emanated from women’s jewels
Bird calls rent air from courtyards.
Wide-eyed he then stared for long
At such splendour never equalled.
Marveled as he at such wealth
Thoughts his turned to Ravan’s might.
Guarded as well Lanka thus
Is there scope for entry then?
But Kumud, Angad, Sushena too
Might stand chance as Maind and Dwivid.
Not to speak of Lord Sugreev
Kusaparv, Jambavan, Ketumal, and I no less.
Be that as it may Lanka
Stands no chance with Ram Lakshman.
Won’t look Lanka like a dame
With these dwellings as ear-rings
And its workshops her huge boobs?
Lights with its on won’t Lanka
Look like woman in white saree?
Got wind of him Lankin then
Deity Lanka’s that huge fiend.
Came she forthwith in his way
Hideous with her frame so large.
Lost she no time to confront
Him in her tone that was harsh.
Value if thou life thy now
Make a clean breast of thyself.
How it entered thy little head
Sneak thou might in Ravan’s land?
Undaunted said thus Hanuman:
Dared as thee to address thus
May I know now who art thou?
With thy hideous looks and all
Why thee stand guard at this time?
Then the deity in response
Spoke to Hanuman in disdain.
Guard I Lanka day ’n night
Serve I Ravan in good faith.
Tuck thy tail and run for life
Lest thy soul should rest in peace.
That thou realized who I am
Make haste now ’n beat retreat.
Hanuman at this grew so huge
Matching Lankin pound for pound.
Having come thus face to face
Hanuman then her thus addressed.
As I heard of thy Lanka
Know I came as just tourist.
All I want is to saunter
All through Lanka in leisure.
With that Lankin lost her cool
Flared she thus at Hanuman then.
Enough of cunning O simian
Dare if thou cross swords with me.
Acting then all innocent
Addressed Hanuman thus Lankin:
Seek as I to see thy place
Wonder why thou make big fuss?
Lankin at that turned physical
With her fist on Hanuman’s frame.
Roused as Hanuman in anger
Roared he loud like lion hungry.
Then a left hook he landed
On her huge frame bare fisted.
Yet he did no more than that
Out of respect for women folk.
With the power of his punch then
On all fours the fiend fell down.
Writhed as she in such great pain
Pitied Hanuman the woman in her.
Scared no end was wounded fiend
Begged she mercy from Hanuman.
Hurt not women valorous men
Know am Lankin, Lanka’s deity.
As I was by thee matted
Think I time to tell thee all.
Signalled Brahma to Lanka
Nadir as I lose my fight
At the hands of some simian.
Lost as I the fight to thee
End I see of Ravan’s reign.
How can Brahma ever go wrong?
Seetha’s kidnap proves him right.
Thus O Hanuman get thee set
On thy mission in Lanka straight.
Seizes us as Brahma’s curse
Go in search of Seetha now
Snared who Ravan to this land.
Canto 4 - Foray into Fort
Lankin as thus gave visa
Set then Hanuman on his course.
Having Lanka’s bird’s eye view
Through its back door he entered.
So to bring it bad tidings
Put forth he then his left foot.
In time he went to King’s Way
Had that flowering trees on sides.
Dwellings in all either side
Saw he mirth ’n merry then.
Glow of Lanka seemed to him
As cloud of silver in the skies.
Light as creaked out from houses
Swastiks in their scores rays made.
Roamed as he then Ravan’s town
Well-pleased Hanuman with himself.
Houses he passed one by one
Each was shaped a different one.
Sang as dames in those dwellings
The sound of music pleased Hanuman.
Wore as women waist-bands all
Trinkets theirs made music scores.
Breathed in roars who exercised
Rhapsodic too were Vedic chants.
Saw he demons all there gathered
Sang they hymns in Ravan’s praise.
For men in arms and spies on rolls
In Lanka’s heart lay large barracks.
Tonsured men in penance he saw
Magical powers all seemed to have.
Weird men he found single-eyed
With lone ear some left him dumb.
Hideous many such fiends he found
Well armed with their arms varied,
Maces some had furrows-long
Discs rest held that covered acres.
Medium built they by and large
Frames theirs neither long nor short.
Fair were some and others darkish
Lookers were there in both groups.
Turns took sentries to hold high
Ravan’s standards of conquests.
Flowers men garlands wore pastel
Frames their glowed with sandal paste.
Men all dressed in ways varied
Myriad all they arms carried.
To guard Ravan’s gynoecium
In midst garrison was that laid.
Archways wide of solid gold
Adorned Ravan’s famed palace.
Moats it had of lotus white
Wide-eyed Hanuman witnessed them.
Chamber music rent then air
Neighed white horses in courtyards.
Lined as chariots in deep files
Lay in hangers airplanes large,
Languid while in move elephants
Scores were horses with long manes.
Strolled all over deer in heat
So the sentries on their beat.
In spite of the vigil they kept
Threw Hanuman wool in their eyes.
Canto 5 - Life in Lanka
Moon in time came overhead
Raged he bull like in cow-pen.
Kept he darkness all at bay
Seemed to dispel sins of men.
Rays his splendid in columns
Sparkled lotus-like in prime.
In those high skies full of clouds
Seemed he like one swan encaged.
Spot his that was well visible
Appeared like a well-horned bull.
Light the king of stars as shed
Fell that on his cousin blooming
Brought that latter’s spots luster.
Like the king on diamond throne
Shone as well the moon that night.
Ambience moonlight enticed all
Mates estranged to warm embrace.
Went as wanton to walk streets
Women married were ever eager
To mate their men they loved to core.
Men there were no less in scores
Gulped who by then pint or more.
Some of them as tried to boast
Rest in fistcuffs took to brawls.
Tried to shake their stupor as some
Others took amorous routes to mates.
Full of smiles were women fulfilled
Heaved though heavy then unfulfilled.
Roared as skies then like trumpets
Swore soldiers like hissing snakes.
Saw he many there sober souls
Took place debates informed then.
Found he many an ugly folk
Were they none the less decent.
Women wondrous had virtuous mates
Matched they stars of cloudless skies.
Birds as hidden by flowering buds
Women charming lay in male arms.
Went to their men women in want
Fondlers they turned to rouse them.
Women lovelorn who rivalled moon
Lacked as they mates turned all pale.
Men all who had women to mate
Love they made to them all night.
Eye lashes of dove-eyed dames
Hid their eyes in thick black veils,
Jewels that those wore in scores
Cast a charming light on them.
None of them though made him feel
Seetha could be one of them.
Forlorn Seetha he knew well
Would be lost in Rama’s thought.
Saw he none of that anguish
In them Seetha would have felt.
In her agonized mood Seetha
Won’t she look like that crescent
Screened by thick dark clouds in skies?
Failed as he to find Seetha
Nonplussed was then Vayu’s son.
. . .
On one side
Muthyal Rao, Dora of Rampur
Papa Rao, Police Patel
Rami Reddy, Patwari.
Papi Reddy, landlord
Shaukar Suryam, moneylender
Veeraiah, Head Constable
Mallesam Goud, ex-MLA.
Narsi Reddy, son of Rami Reddy
Capt. Kapoor, Home Guards/Greyhounds
Henchmen, Police Constables
Of the other side on this side
Yellaiah, a peasant.
Mallamma, Yellaiah’s wife.
Narsimma, Yellaiah’s son.
Sarakka, Yellaiah’s daughter.
Maisamma, Mallamma’s mother
Yadagiri, Maisamma’s son.
Anasuya, Yadagiri’s wife.
Renuka, Yadagiri’s daughter
Saailu, Anasuya’s brother.
Maisaiah, a peasant.
Lachamma, Maisaiah’s wife
Madanna, head of a naxal dalam
Mallanna, Madanna’s confidant.
Srisailam, Narsimma’s friend
Annalu, and onlookers.
And on neither side is Raja, the six-year old grandson of the I.G of A. P. Police.
Canto 6 - Precincts to Beat
Having recouped from despair
Roamed then Hanuman all the more.
Entered he then Admin block
Came with face-to-face palace.
Keep at bay as lions poachers
Looked all scary palace guards.
Archways silver, gateways gold
Made that look like heaven on earth.
Vigil while some kept on elephants
Rode others tireless horses there.
Guards had ivory chariots there
Wheels of which were made of gold.
Facades had all well cut gems
Furniture there lay out of world.
Deer as ran fast in their stride
Birds went helter-skelter then.
Like a diamond in the sky
Lay there palace of Ravan.
Wore there dames all such jewels
Made which them all seem angels.
Lay shaking hands sandal trees
And that gave it woods like look.
Kettledrums as raised high decibels
Conchs in chambers blared in scores.
Ocean like spread had that fort
Paved its rooftop with rare gems.
Such was splendour of that place
Gaped it Hanuman wonder-struck.
Felt of Ravan’s place he then
As the jewel crown of worlds.
Left he none there bush to search
Peeped he then through all windows.
Done with dwellings of hirelings
Prahastha’s mansion then he reached.
Kumbhakarn ’n Vibhishan
Ravan’s siblings both of them
Lived in mansions magnificent.
Went in Hanuman one by one
Quarters there of eminent men.
Entered he then abodes of
Vidyunmal ’n Vidyujjivih.
Spared he not the places of
Sons of Ravan in his search.
Sumali’s palace he sauntered
Jambumali’s own not to spare.
Hurried Hanuman in his search
Of Math’s as well Yuddhonmath’s.
Into Sukana’s house he went
Came he out of Vikata’s place.
Got as he in Vakra’s suite
Lost his privacy latter then.
Karala’s residence came under
Hanuman’s scanner along with
Pisaacha’s palace that was next.
In his search of Seetha thus
Laid he bare there all nobles.
Having drawn blank with Lieutenants’
Quarters he searched then General’s.
Hideous ogresses at the gates
Guarded Ravan’s high fortress.
Fearful they looked head to foot
Carried weapons they weird in shape.
As though to catch foes in flight
Harnessed scores were horses there.
Battle hardened elephants then
In their hundreds he found there.
Mountain-like they move in wars
Make they enemies run for life.
Shiver all mighty down the spine
When they come to hear trumpets.
In their gold shields soldiers all
Glittered then like mid-day sun.
Found he there all palanquins gold
Galleries filled with masters’ works.
Gyms as there for body builders
Parks to peck for lovers there were.
Ravan’s place was mountain like
Peacocks there strolled on their toes.
Flags there fluttered in their scores
Lent they breeze the roaring sound.
Like hot sun of mid-summer
Dazzled Ravan in nightgown.
Vessels of gold and ivory cots
Hanuman in scores saw them there.
Sauntered as he in aisles then
Spillover on wine he stepped.
Women there as had lovely gait
Rustled sarees to rhythmic beat.
Women in numbers he found there
Looked who charming dream-girl like.
Canto 7 - Palace in the Plane
To probe Ravan’s own chambers
Ventured Hanuman further down.
Armaments stacked in piles he found
With rare conchs that give war cries.
With flaw none in cut or shine
Vessels he found with gems to brim.
What he saw in Ravan’s place
Made it seem like magic land.
To his wonder he found parked
Aircar unique called Pushpak.
Stood out for its looks Pushpak
Seemed it was like made for gods.
Lodged in it were women of charm
Live wire like they moved in aisles.
In its splendour looked Pushpak
Like the moon on earth landed.
Insignia it had hills of gold
Bore they trees of flowers diamond.
Housed it mansions furrows-long
Lawns theirs had large swimming pools.
Seemed it as if on take-off
Sight that made him rub his eyes.
Carved were birds on huge corals
Made of gems were horse statues.
Birds therein all seemed to him
Like the allies of Love God.
Goddess Lakshmi’s deity lay
On lotus red in blue waters
With elephants white on either side.
Swayed as it him no end then
Went he in thrall round Pushpak.
Overawed though he by Pushpak
Resumed his search soon Hanuman.
Having failed to trace Seetha
Seized was he with thus sorrow.
Canto 8 - Pushpak’s Prowess
End to end he searched Pushpak
Cover he could not all its ground.
Wonder that was Pushpak called
Like the one that never conceived.
Abodes of gods ’n angels too
Add up not to Pushpak’s tail.
It had in itself to change
Needs to suit of who owns it,
Got it Ravan not for song
For he had to shed his blood.
When in flight it acquires speed
Synch which would with pilot’s mind.
Presence of it then got Lanka
Preeminence in all three worlds.
Frescos it had men in rows
With that vigorous look on them.
Amidst vernal season then
Looked Pushpak like flower mountain.
Canto 9 - Harem at Night
In the midst of Pushpak lay
The Palace Royal of Ravan.
Built it was with gems all rare
Plinth it had of two score miles.
Went in Hanuman in the hope
Therein he would find Seetha.
Having got in he sauntered
In those royal chambers there.
With their knives drawn to the hilt
Found he guards there door to door.
Saw he Ravan’s wives in scores
Maidens that he grabbed by force.
Found he ponds of ocean size
Lived where crocodiles with white whales.
Amidst the riches it sported
God like Ravan lived in there.
With sons ’n siblings there Ravan
Bettered thus lifestyle of all gods.
Entered harem Ravan’s Hanuman
Pushpak’s that was star attraction.
Custom built was that Pushpak
By God’s own architect for Brahma.
In the times of yore Kuber
Sought and got it from Brahma,
Wanting it to serve his needs
Grabbed it Ravan waging war.
Spoils of war as it made
Pictured bullfights on its walls.
Stretched its ceiling to high skies
Cellars its touched depths of earth.
Pushpak’s glitter makes Lanka
Seem as daytime during nights.
Emeralds it had for doorknobs
Windowpanes were crystal class.
Pearls it had all paved for floor
Gave that look of white carpet.
Woodwork of its red sandals
Made the place all smell so sweet.
Shaped so well were secret vaults
Deceive they would the best of spies.
Entered Hanuman its pantry
Feed which could a million mouths.
Aroma of all recipes there
Reached him with a come-hither tag.
Entered he then that portion
Lived where Ravan as the god.
Stairs it had of gems inlaid
Handles of them ivory made.
Pillars it had gold ingots
Glowed they all like candlelights.
None was taken for granted
Flawless was the way it shaped.
With woven Atlas on them bright
Laid were carpets continent size.
Birds on heat were perched on trees
Cooed they in their scores well pecked.
Smoke that scented sticks emitted
Got spread throughout Ravan’s land.
Kept its aura gloom at bay
It’s where Ravan set his shop.
At home Hanuman felt therein
Entered though he enemy’s place.
Felt he was in heaven itself
Fit for gods of every faith.
Finding no scent of Seetha
Seemed he gambler who lost all.
With his person ’n harem
No less Ravan added then
Lustre to that bright Pushpak.
Maidens there were in thousands
Dressed they like for fashion show.
Drunk they were all to the dregs
Bent their eyelids all downward.
Slept one by one all of them
Seemed the place as swan filled pond.
Postures theirs were well composed
Breath their smelled as flowers at dawn.
Petals like lotus their faces
Seemed in sleep all lotus buds.
Zoomed all drunken bees in scores
As would go round flowers in bloom.
Celibate as he wished they were
Flowers all real and not damsels.
Angel like dames made Ravan’s
Harem seem like star filled sky.
Ravan in their midst then looked
Like the blooming moon in skies.
Felt of Ravan’s lovers Hanuman
Were like meteors made there home.
Skins theirs were like cloudless skies
Pure were demeanours of those dames.
Orgasms multiple they had all
Askance went things on them all.
In their coitus furious dots
Vermilion theirs smudged foreheads.
Passion with such they coited
Crushed were pearls of chains they wore.
Breath of theirs as they made love
Withered all flowers of their garlands.
Chains of jewels that they wore
Made their boobs seem sun ’n moon.
Sank as pearls in their valleys
Seemed they swans that lay in rest.
Looked like canal banks their thighs
Waists theirs seemed so tiny streams.
Smiled in slumber some sweetly
Dreamt as though of lay they had.
Embrace in theirs of Ravan
Breasts of theirs as chest his crushed
Made then imprints of their chains
Seemed that matching pairs on them.
Covered as pallus their faces
Pairs of bellows turned their breaths.
As was standards of Ravan
Bright were hues of their sarees.
Turned as pallus to bellows
Vibed like pendulums their ear-rings.
Smelled well as the breath of theirs
Got that better with wine they had.
Sexy co-wives of Ravan
Kissed in ardour one another.
In their craving for Ravan
Made they lesbian love in turns.
Some of them in their slumber
Folded their hands for pillows.
Made some thighs of their co-wives
Headrests for their wondrous heads.
Used some leggies flat bellies
Of co-wives to spread their legs.
Entwined slept as Ravan’s dames
Seemed they strings of white roses,
Hair theirs seemed to cover them all
Bees as would all flowers in bloom.
Harem Ravan’s felt Hanuman
Creeper like grove in full spring.
Body odours of those dames
Lent the air all with then scents.
With such abandon slept they all
Moved their sarees up their thighs.
That Ravan was fast asleep
Gods dared eye his women in sleep.
Most of them in Ravan’s hold
Came coveting him on their own.
Beauty as theirs made him weak
Dragged he some of them to bed.
Fetched him some the hearsay true
His great valour spread world over.
Found none of them then Hanuman
Found might wanting to share throne.
Seeing them all so fulfilled
Wished he Ram ’n Seetha well.
That the learned Ravan snared
Seetha who was chaste to Rama
Saddened Hanuman no end then.
Canto 10 - Women in Want
Hanuman on the sly entered
Chambers private of Ravan.
Such a cot he found lay there
Made to rival Ravan’s throne.
Meant to impart moon’s aura
Had it canopy made of wreaths.
Cot his huge was made of gold
Seemed on it sun came to rest.
Fanned by lovely handmaidens
Rent air perfumes rare fragrance.
Bed it had of soft sheepskin
Stuffed to brim with silk cotton.
With red eyes for want of sleep
He-man Ravan lay there spread.
Layers thick of sandal paste
Applied on his manly frame
Soothed those scores of love bites deep.
Splendid jewels wore he then
Seemed they lightning in grey cloud.
In the forest of fair sex
Slept there Ravan like a log.
Signs there were for all to see
Left he none there to make love.
Hanuman in awe neared Ravan
But the fact that he played foul
Made him stop then in his tracks.
Such was aura of Ravan
Made the simian stare at him.
Harem in his lay Ravan
Like a trunk with thick creepers.
Arms his long with gold epaulets
Looked like poles for Indra’s flags.
Sported scores both combat scars
Of his battles fought with gods.
Like the mythical five-hood snakes
Arms his strong were well tapered.
Of hair oils his women had used
Smelled his hands of varied scents.
Rings he wore on his fingers
Gave a measure of his strong hands
Made which worlds all bow to him.
With the power of his own hands
Subdue he could all three worlds.
In that king-size bed Ravan
Lay he like a king elephant.
Such was the build of his frame
Looked he like a mountain then.
Breaths of Ravan seemed to fill
The insides all of that Pushpak.
Thus the aisles of that Pushpak
Were then filled with flowery scent.
Diamond ear-studs of Ravan
Seemed as diadem askew then.
On his hairy chest that broad
Glistened golden chains he wore.
Loincloth he wore of white silk
Left its guard on legs his strong.
Lay as he on white bedspread
Looked he like a black diamond.
Amidst the candle light that night
Seemed he like rain-bearing cloud.
Women that slept on his huge bed
Shone like stars in clear blue skies.
Saw Hanuman all Ravan’s wives
With their aura that paled moon.
While some slept on arms his long
Others lay on his thighs that strong.
Had they ear-rings of cat’s eyes
Wore they armlets of large gems.
It’s their aura in Pushpak
Made it Milky Way on earth.
Hourglass figure women all had
Had them Ravan all of them.
For those in queue to make it to
Ravan’s bed of hot pursuit
Thought of his was so pumping
Failed they manage to have wink.
Like a wreath that logged to boat
Lasses some hugged their veenas.
Slept a dame with drum by side
As would she have her newborn.
One with throbbing boobs so big
Hugged a drum like lover in want.
Pressed one flute in her valley
As would amorous woman manhood.
Hugged as eager a woman violin
Pressed by heaving breasts of hers
Scored it erotic notes on own.
Looked one temptress every inch
Hugged she trumpet like a wrench.
One who drank all to the dregs
Tabor she locked in armpit.
Demure was the one that hugged
Drum so small her breasts could hold.
Those that could hold no longer
Made they dildos of their flutes.
Tipsy turned a woman in sleep
Jug of lavender thus upturned.
One of those whom Ravan had
Drained as she to dress herself
Laid her hands on her nipples.
Amorous woman in all her want
Locked one lissome lass like brace.
Came to Ravan’s women handy
Instruments varied that there lay.
Saw he then the gem of all
Slept who on a separate cot.
Charm hers was such made the rest
Woman of golden hue there lay
None other than king Ravan’s queen.
Heard as he all gods coveted
Mandodari the marvellous one
Yet felt Hanuman that peerless
Woman might as well be Seetha.
In his joy he found Seetha
Got he into simian ways.
Canto 11 - Qualms of Celibate
Felt soon Hanuman that Seetha
Forsake would not her Lord Ram.
How could forlorn Seetha then
Would have had that happy look?
Could ever Seetha find a man
Who would out tempt her Rama?
In his search for Rama’s spouse
Went in Hanuman further down.
To his surprise there he found
Many more in wait for Ravan.
After a bout of game of dice
Worn out there lay some on beds.
On their sexiness lasses
Indulged then in innuendos.
Some as cracked crude party jokes
Rest of them had heck of time.
Praised all each other’s wantonness
Bragged they all about ways of flesh.
Felt then Hanuman if at dawn
Should Ravan all lay them true
Makes him raging bull in pen.
Finds as he his mates on heat
Looks he no less king elephant.
Meant to succor their sex urge
Sweets varied were well laid there.
Found he there lay on platter
Meat of deer and boars deep-fried.
‘Use-me’ vessels of solid gold
Brimming there with leftovers.
Beasts assorted were slaughtered
For the sumptuous meal they had.
Recipes all of fish he found
Flesh as well of birds roasted.
Plentiful lay food vegetarian
Fresh that was and spicy too.
Besides silver jars of wine
Desserts were there in gold plates.
On the cots that lined furlongs
Spread were jasmines one foot deep.
Corals those that filled the floors
Seemed they all like burning coals.
Aroma of the food there lay
All the more them made hungry.
Served were juices of fresh fruits
Spirits they raised in there gathered.
Mean it was no that quarter
Than those chambers of Ravan.
Entered storeroom as Hanuman
Found he racks and racks of gold.
Saw he wine in vats of gold
Studded which all with rare gems.
Vats of silver there he found
With half full of wine still left.
Lay there mounds of food so fresh
Feed which could scores hungry souls.
Found be broken goblets there
Stamped by maidens in their haste.
Stepped he out of that quarter
Straight into that banquet hall
Lesbians full in their couplings.
In their pairs they shared blankets
Which in turns they pulled on each.
Breath of some made own pallus
Ripple like reeds in windy climes.
Aroma from their breath then matched
With those dregs of wine they left.
Sea breeze that was so profuse
Scent theirs took to all corners.
In that banquet hall were found
Beauties black ‘n blonds as well.
Worn out as by excess sex
Looked some then like shrunken bees.
Women of allure though they were
None had charms of Rama’s spouse.
Celibate that he was Hanuman
Developed thus he qualms of own
If the sight was right for him!
Doubts came thick and fast to him
Turned if he then peeping Tom.
Blamed he Ravan for his plight
Act whose brought him to that pass.
Single minded that Hanuman
Aside he set his doubts in time.
For he had no covetous look
Women all failed to excite him.
Felt he nice that his own mind
Helped his celibate intent then.
What else could he do to find
Seetha than to scan fair sex.
Would one expect to find her
Amidst a flock of deer on run.
With no stone as left unturned
Alas, Seetha he couldn’t find.
Lovely women all he found there
But not Seetha his Lord’s spouse.
Looked he then back at Pushpak
Searched he which from tip to toe.
Not the one to leave mid-course
Pursued Hanuman Seetha’s search.
Canto 12 - At Wits End
In his search for Seetha thus
Sauntered Ravan’s place Hanuman.
Failed as he to find her still
Felt she could have died of grief.
Finding her no yielding type
Ravan could have got her hanged.
Or else Seetha should’ve gone
Underground in Ravan’s land.
Were he to go with blank page
Would Lord Sugreev approve that?
Would not all the pains it took
For him to reach Ravan’s land
Come to naught were she not found?
When he would go back in time
Won’t his peers and Lords as well
Get round him for Seetha’s news?
Were he to show empty hand
Won’t that break the hearts of all?
What would elder Jambavan say?
How Prince Angad would take it!
So as not to fail them all
Not by finding Seetha now,
Better I pull up socks my well
So to pass through pathless woods.
If one gives up not on hopes
Tends that towards goal his own.
Resolved he thus not to sulk
But to press then even more.
Having felt thus he went back
To all those places he had been.
After making one more round
Of the harem of Ravan
Stepped he out of Pushpak then.
Entered he then those dwellings
Annexed to Ravan’s Royal Court.
Searched he then the town proper
That was Lanka’s headquarters.
As though to leave none to chance
Sauntered Hanuman suburbs there all.
Left he none of private parks
Nor he spared a public place.
But for woman of hideous looks
Found he not there Rama’s spouse.
Saw he though there stunners too
Found he Seetha nowhere there.
Saw he many an angel there
In them in vain he searched her.
Drew he blank in captive cells
Lodged where women by Ravan brought.
Having failed to find her there
Agonized Hanuman even more.
What a waste of time it was
To come to Lanka in her search!
Sank he on his knees Hanuman
Despaired of that mission failure.
Canto 13 - Errand in the Bend
On the rebound then Hanuman
Like a lightning reached Pushpak.
Staring at the place he searched
Thought he errand of his failed.
How come Seetha was not found
Left I though no room to search?
In all entire land of this
Had I left a stone unturned?
If I go by Jataayu’s words
And fetch Rama here forthwith,
Failing to see her he would
Take his wrath on all of us.
Would have Seetha in despair
Succumbed to Ravan in secret!
Sped as Ravan her in arms
Out of range of Ram’s arrow,
Preferring death to his amour
Did she into ocean drop?
Flew as Ravan her in skies
Having seen never ending seas
Lost she might have been her nerve
And thus died in mid-air then.
Chaste as Seetha to her man
The thought of rape by Ravan then
Would have led her heart to seize.
Committed that she to her Lord
Tried as she to wriggle herself
Would have slipped from Ravan’s grip.
With none around to rescue her
Drowned she might have Ram in mind.
For that matter Ravan’s wives
Would have killed her by envy.
Or else forlorn Seetha might
Have died in her great despair.
For Lakshman to help her out
Seetha would have surely cried.
Maybe in some secret vault
Ravan could have confined her.
Seems it absurd even then
Seetha would to Ravan turn.
With no news of Seetha now
Makes it no sense to go back.
Reported dead or found missing,
What a breaking news it makes?
What an end to such beginning
Should that ever end in deadlock?
Were I to go now without a clue
What’s the worth of my errand?
Not for Sugreev sent me here
Have I count of Ravan’s wives.
What would Rama have to say
Were I to face him blank faced?
Were I to state that found her not
Wouldn’t he die of broken heart?
Hears if he of mission failure
What for he would like to live?
Seeing Rama slip in coma
Lakshman too would come to grief.
Back home Bharat ’n Satrughna
Break down hearing breaking news.
Won’t on hearsay go to grave
Mothers three of brothers those four?
Having failed to keep his word
Won’t our Sugreev die of shame?
Unable to bear her man’s death
Wouldn’t then Ruma forego life?
Mourns as Tara, Vali’s death
Won’t her new Lord’s death kill her?
Wont’ then follow suit Angad
Tara’s son to Vali born.
If ever enemies eye our land
What would come of our empire?
Made all prosper Sugreev’s reign
Won’t they feel all orphaned now?
In the wake of Sugreev’s death
Sport ’n pastime suffer no end?
Won’t feel vanars fatherless
And get scattered world over?
In that depressed state of theirs
Many might as well end their lives.
Were I to go without her sight
It’s like taking death sentence.
Serves no purpose going there
Without the news of her welfare.
Were I to stay put here itself
Might they as well live in hope.
Better I remain in her search
Feed I would on fruits ’n roots.
As and when I reach dead end
Can’t I immolate without a trace?
Or unto death I would fast
Upon my frame let beasts all feast.
Why not I let myself drown
In the selfsame sea I crossed?
It was such a good beginning
Why should it ever end different?
Fail in case to find Seetha
What if I turn ascetic here?
Live if I in Lanka thus
Won’t I let live my folk there?
Downs as curtain death on life
Takes none further part on stage.
At not finding Rama’s spouse
That’s how Hanuman’s mind wavered.
Brave that he was rose in time
And thought of seeing Ravan’s end.
Or else I could lift Ravan
And fly across the sea I crossed.
Confined somewhere in these parts
How that would serve Seetha’s cause?
As he thought the better of it
And thought none of Ravan more
Came to sing the same old tune.
Were I to go by Jataayu’s words
And fetch Rama here forthwith
Finding her not he would sulk
And his wrath would harm us all.
Stay if I back in Lanka
Harm I none in Kishkindha.
Oh, isn’t yonder garden there?
Well, how I failed to notice that!
Seems like gods are guiding me
In my search of Rama’s spouse.
What if that grove yields that fruit
Brings which joy to Rama’s heart?
Buoyed by that thought he set
Sights his all then on that grove.
So to bring him good tidings
Prayed he Ram ’n Seetha then
As well Lakshman and Rudra,
Besides Indra and Vayu
Yama ’n Surya not to speak
Angels all there in the skies
Prayed them all he in reverence.
Hoping to find her in grove
Sought he as well Sugreev’s grace.
Striding there in long strides
Worked out moves his in advance.
Find I would there guards for sure
With swords drawn to stop trespass.
For the comfort of someone
Breezes past that he that grove
Seems that Vayu is concerned.
Assume I might tiny form
And turn needle in haystack.
Hope gods all of heavens there are
Help me in my mission on earth.
If I were to go blindfold
Moonlight hope would lead me to
Rama’s spouse in Ravan’s land.
Sure to bless is Lord Vishnu
That I would see Seetha now.
How I wish to see Seetha
With such beauty that is rare.
Pining for so long for Ram
May not she look at her best.
Canto 14 - Garden of Grief
With Seetha in mind Hanuman
Reached that garden royal soon
Perched he then on compound wall.
In that grove that’s thick and wide
Saw he scores of full-grown trees.
Besides Asoka trees there were
Flowering neem and mangoes too.
Like Ram’s arrow then he sped
Towards a climber in that grove.
Flowers there all pleased him much
Thrilled him sounds all birds then made.
Shone there flowers North Star like
Sauntered there then deer languid.
Craving cuckoos cried on trees
Bees on heat on flowers there zoomed.
Hovered birds then for their mates
Clamoured peacocks there on ground.
Jumped as he from tree to tree
Woke up birds all from their sleep
Birds as fluttered into skies
Severed by their wings flowers all there.
Fell as flowers those on him thus
Made they mountain on his frame.
To get rid of that flower burden
As he grew in size Hanuman
Seemed he Spring God on the rise.
Flowers as scattered all over
Gave that mother earth maiden look.
Toyed as he then with trees there
Fell all balance flowers they wore.
Tried as he to test his strength
Dropped were ripen fruits they bore.
Spared not his push leaves even
Trees there stood like lost gamblers.
Bare as turned thus trees all there
Birds were then left with no shades.
Pulled he trunks then with his tail
Broke them all with arms and legs.
Like the ravaged women by him
Battered there lay Ravan’s grove.
As would scatter clouds by wind
Severed lay creepers from tree trunks.
Found as he his way inside
Saw he footpaths paved with gold.
Ponds were there of pure water
Steps which had with gems inlaid.
Beds of those had pearls for sand
Grew there golden trees on banks.
Made flowers lotus red carpets
Swans like royal guests sauntered.
Serviced were they by canals
Brought they water nectar like.
Lined on banks of those canals
Trees that nearly kissed skyline.
In the midst of that vast grove
Mountain there lay that was huge.
Had it numerous caves so deep
House which could a million men.
Found on it a stream Hanuman
Seemed that like a dame enraged
Sprang who up from beloved’s lap.
As would desist her friends then
Her from leaving estranged mate
So bent branches on those banks
Touching waters at mid-stream.
Wound its way then back that stream
As would pacified woman backtrack.
On those branches of thick trees
Birds of same feather flocked together.
With clear water that was cool
Laid there was a swimming pool.
Change rooms built for both sexes
Gave that complex ambiance rare.
Gardens lay there in the scores
Walkways were all coral paved.
Flowerpots plenty of pure gold
Contained colorful crotons there.
Spread there Sinsupa far and wide
Dais of gold all covered its ground.
Round the dais of spick and span
Grown were tropical trees varied.
In that grove of golden hues
Shone Hanuman like rising sun.
Trinkets tied to branches there
Set they tune for passing breeze.
Soared as hopes his sky high then
Climbed he Sinsupa’s topmost branch.
Had a premonition Hanuman then
Seetha would grace that place soon.
Wonder as was that Pushpak
Seemed the garden none the less.
Forlorn so long that Seetha
Wouldn’t she find this grove soothing?
Why not as she got used to
Strolling in the thick jungles.
Fatigued as would be Seetha
By the constant thought of Ram
Might come her for recouping.
As she saunters in that grove
Recall she would with fondness
Time she spent with her man then.
Besides she was so fond of
All that goes for life in woods.
Fail she might not to turn up
For her morning bath downstream.
Think I not of another place
Better which would for morning walk.
Were she to be alive still
Won’t she be drawn to this stream?
Driven by hope of finding her
Lay there Hanuman in hiding.
Canto 15 - Withered Flower
Failed as Seetha to turn up
Came in open then Hanuman.
Deep breathed as he so he felt
Scent there that of sandalwood.
Ventured as he further down
Thought he was in Indra’s grove.
Wildlife he found there so rare
Thought he visited other planet.
Buildings there were five-storied
By boulevards wide hundred feet.
Fruits they bore all golden hues
Seemed they street lamps in their scores.
Perched as they in their thousands
Seemed as trees had birds for leaves.
Birds as flew with flowers in beaks
Looked they all like well-decked brides.
For their flowery burden then
Developed branches some hunchbacks.
Garden plants in some courtyards
Peeped over their compound walls.
Find them would a passerby
In their varied shades of green.
Wondered Hanuman how he failed
First to search that wondrous place.
In the gardens of all earth
Won’t it score a perfect ten?
What other place can Ravan find
Helps which Seetha change her mind?
Saw he then that hall supreme
Built by Ravan to rival
God’s own pavilion in grandeur.
Raised on thousand gold pillars
Glowed that like one thousand suns.
When he could his sight adjust
Saw he towers its kiss the clouds.
As if it were by sixth sense
To Sinsupa turned back Hanuman
Only to find there seated
Woman so young with dress so old.
Heard her sighs he on and off
Circled her as demonic guards.
Seemed she like a flame so bright
Shrouded then by smoke that thick.
Clad she was in soiled silk
Wore no necklace on her self.
Grief her wore down to core
Sat she bowing head in shame.
Cried she with her tear-filled eyes
Looked she distraught ’n famished.
Like a hare that lost its way
Into hounds on hunt she looked.
Dark hair hers in plait that thick
Touched the ground on which she sat.
In spite of her soiled dress
Demeanor hers was lady like.
Well she could be Rama’s wife
Kidnapped by the Lankan king.
No doubt it was Rama’s spouse
For she matches thumbnail sketch
That Lord Rama drew for him.
Charm her golden frame oozes
Brings forth brightness to darkness.
Waist her narrow lends her frame
The flowing look that aids her gait.
Eyes her wide like lotus leaves
Were shaped to acquire amorous looks.
But, in her grief they lost lustre
As would stars by clouds shrouded.
As would spendthrift his holding
Agony of hers shrivelled her frame.
With signs none of her rescue
Seemed she lost her will to live.
Wanted she her man to know
Ravan by force brought her there
Though she would not yield to him.
Swollen were her tearful eyes
Sunken were her crimson cheeks.
Ever since Ravan brought her there
Looked she had no bath since then
Made which seem her cloudy moon.
Found in dilemma Hanuman then
If she could be Rama’s spouse.
But then aura he espied
None but Seetha could have that.
Looked he then on for jewels
As though they were missing links.
Those to him Ram made privy
Found them lying on low branch.
To help Seetha please Rama
Well crafted were all of them.
Dust as they all thus gathered
Turned those into dirty brown.
Missing indeed from that lot
What she let go from mid-air
So to give clue to her man.
It was vanars who found her
Shawl with jewels hers tied in
That she dropped on Rushyamook.
How well these all now I see
Match with those that dropped by her.
That she wears the same saree
Wore she when was abducted
Won’t that shawl well go with this.
Who else would have this aura
Than dear Rama’s spouse Seetha!
Bound am I to rescue her
From the clutches of these guards.
Won’t that gladden Rama’s heart
Saddened for so long for her?
Paired as well as Seetha-Ram
Were there ever a couple on earth!
Ravan though had parted them
Minds in their they stay as one.
Robbed as he of his Seetha
Rama still has will to fight.
What a wonder Rama lived
Sans his spouse for so long now.
Felt glad Hanuman that he could
Find the beloved of his Lord.
Canto 16 - She is Seetha
Prayed then Hanuma in earnest
Lord Rama he revered most
And then thought of task on hand.
Seeing her in such distress
Felt as if his heart was seized.
Casts when shadow fate on man
Can he ever go beyond its reach?
But for being Rama’s spouse
Wouldn’t have fate ever crunched her more?
Whichever way one might see it
Made for each other couple they make.
Seeing Seetha in her plight
Recalled he then Ram’s valour.
If not for her would have Ram
Cared to end ever Vali’s reign?
If not for his exile Ram
Why should ever he kill Viradha?
Miss not targets Ram’s arrows
Struck were demons in their thousands.
Khara neither nor Trisura
Could stand Rama in combat.
But for Seetha how Sugreev
Would have got great Vali’s crown.
Why in search of her I came
To this land that Ravan rules.
Were Rama to lose patience
Won’t he topsy-turvy world?
Not for Ram the crown of earth
Were Seetha not sharing throne.
But for being Janaka’s darling
Can one decline Ravan’s hand?
Daunting must be plight her now
Though she is Lord Rama’s spouse.
Wonder how she puts up with
Fiends all those who pester her!
How sad Seetha had to miss
Folk back home all who love her.
It’s her love for her man Ram
Makes which Seetha shun Ravan.
In her sorrow for her man
Lost she appetite once for all.
Ceases not she not to sigh
Once she never ceased to smile.
Seeks as oasis one in sands
Craves Rama to see his wife.
Gets Ram when his beloved back
Won’t he feel like dethroned king
Gets when back his crown in time!
No doubt it’s her will to meet
Her man that keeps her going.
Turned she to her captor blind
Ever she keeps her man in mind.
Seetha though is crown jewel
Sans Ram she’s jewel-less crown.
It’s no different with Lord Ram
Braves who though she’s not on hand.
Sight of hers as shakes me thus
How would Ram ever take her plight?
Can he bear to see Seetha’s
Plight now wretched as here captive?
In the forlorn state of hers
Shadow she’s no more than
Of the former self of hers.
Seem in vain the rays of moon
Try to soothe her soul perturbed.
At the plight of his Lord’s spouse
That’s what mighty Hanuman felt.
Canto 17 - Guards all Hideous
Swans as swim in blue waters
So did moon in Lankan skies.
It’s as if moon wanted him
Espy Seetha’s distressed self.
For the eyes of Hanuman then
Seetha seemed a sinking boat.
Seen then Hanuman in moonlight
All those guarding Rama’s spouse.
Saw he many a single eyed
With no ears he many there found.
Baldish there were some of them
Had hair others from head to foot.
Many had there such drooping lips
Brushed which with their sagging breasts.
Midgets ugly were there too
With weird sentries in their scores.
Coarse all were they in discourse
Wore all sheepskin for their dress.
On their well built torsos some
Had there animal heads varied.
Had some of them camel feet
Moved while others on elephant legs.
On their beastly bodies some
Carried handsome human heads.
Noses had some there across
Had others vertical lips on them.
Tongues had many of carpet size
Hanged which on their wall like lips.
Ogresses such as kept an eye
On Rama’s spouse in that garden.
Armed they were all to their teeth
With varied weapons of war carried.
Flesh they ate of every beast
Drank they blood from veins direct.
On guard was that hideous lot
Circled Seetha round the clock.
Bathed not Seetha in Lanka
Cared she not to comb her hair.
Pulled was Seetha thus forlorn
Weaned from Rama for so long.
Bereft though of she jewels
Love for her man lent aura.
Seemed she hapless deer no less
Strayed who into lions on prowl.
Looks she had of looking glass
Never once dusted for so long.
Failed that graceful Ravan’s grove
To cheer despaired Rama’s spouse.
Sans her smile did Seetha seem
Flowerless plant in midst of spring.
Moved was Hanuman by her sight
Thought he too of Rama’s plight.
Won’t she know in heart of hearts
That her man would come to her?
Doubt she had none in her mind
Life of hers was tied with Ram.
Heat of her sighs seemed to char
Nascent leaves of high branches.
Having perceived her nature
Poised Hanuman to praise her.
Felt he glad for his Lord too
Got who such a wife like her.
Having prayed to Lord Rama
Hanuman lay in wait for dawn.
Canto 18 - Ravan on Heat
In time it was time to dawn
Sprang up Lanka to last man.
Vedic chants that rent the air
Sounded music to Hanuman.
Surely Ravan would wake up
Then to sound of that music.
Thought as Hanuman so Ravan
Stirred in bed in Seetha’s thought.
Lust of his for Rama’s wife
Made him lose his peace of mind.
Got as he down from his bed
Lost he no time to reach her.
Entered Ravan that garden
Failed it charm his enamored heart.
Stride in his to reach Seetha
Left Ravan all deer stranded.
Heat of Ravan’s lusting self
Made the drops of dew boil.
So to be at beck and call
Moved in tow his women folk too.
Heading he thus his harem
Headed Ravan to add one.
Fanned some then their man on move
Dames with swords some doubled for guards.
Held one pretty jug of gold
Filled with vintage wine for him.
Shade one leggy lass of grace
Gave him with a hood of gold.
Still in stupor some of them
Seemed to follow him by scent.
With no time to turn becoming
Followed him some as they woke.
Let loose was hair on their face
Had they none their bras on them.
Lusted they all for Ravan
Bestowed on them he favours.
Felt they proud of his valour
Fetched which riches of all worlds.
Wore they all those gold jewels
Made which Hanuman gasp for breath.
Sighted as he Ravan then
With the women he saw by night
Overawed Hanuman none the less.
Aiding nascent light at dawn
Led him some with candlelights.
With his libido thus evident
Looked Ravan like Cupid on earth.
In his stride his silk garment
Slid over his broad shoulders.
Overwhelmed by what he saw
Discreet distance kept Hanuman.
Hand in hand moved Ravan’s wives
Seemed they strengthened his position.
Cooed then koels to caution
Seetha as he seemed nearing.
Strode yet Ravan in long strides
Towards Seetha whom he snared.
Wondered Hanuman why Ravan
Wanted Seetha who spurned him.
For she spurned a handsome king
Valued Hanuman Rama’s spouse.
At the might of king Ravan
Felt he humble being strong.
At length Ravan reached Seetha
Turned who by then his heartthrob.
Canto 19 - Dame in Despair
Seetha whose head bowed so low
Sensed that Ravan neared her then.
Shook she like a paddy reed
Swept by stormy coastal winds.
Cried she no end in her fright
Black-eyed Seetha at the threat.
Like she was a forlorn boat
In the midst of sea that vast.
Severed as from a well-grown tree
Seemed so withered a branch Seetha.
In spite of her forlorn state
Gave her bright look innate charm.
Made though Ravan her captive
Mind of hers was with her man.
Bore she travails to love Ram
Than to triumphant Ravan turn.
Kept as captive by Ravan
End of tunnel she saw none.
Wondered Hanuman how her fate
Deemed it fit to languish her.
In her grief then looked Seetha
Like one caught in some scandal.
Looked she like a waning lamp
Amidst Ravan’s women on guard.
For the loss of Rama’s love
Wore she look of bankrupt then.
Made her grief then look her like
Lotus stem that plucked from bed.
Like the moon on eclipse night
Lost she spark of her charm then.
Looked she like a lotus pond
Trampled by score wild elephants.
River beds seemed cheeks her both
With lean streams in summer months.
Fair as lily though she was
Sunburns turned brown her fair skin.
Pined then Seetha as lioness
In some zoo for jungle mate.
With her thick plait Seetha looked
Like earth with its well-grown trees.
Fed by Rama’s thoughts Seetha
Lived she just by breathing air.
That her man might slay Ravan
Prayed she gods all in reverence.
It was in that state Ravan
Found the one he craved no end.
Canto 20 - Womanizer at Work
To fair Seetha he confined
Spoke then Ravan in disdain.
With thy pair of lovely hands
Why block sight of thy bosom
Hope it’s not the fear of me
Prompts thee squat in like fashion.
Is a beauty like thine ever
And a lover than me better!
What to fear in this Lanka
Lost whose Lord his heart to thee.
Fair it’s not for thee to blame
Granted when it’s to our ilk
Force we might all women we fond
Never mind ever their state of mind.
Crave as I for thine embrace
Wait I though for thy consent.
Fill thy heart with love for me
Let not fear ever grip thy mind.
Having known my love for thee
Don’t thou know that it’s not fair
That thee should fail thy upkeep
And thus make me sad for thee.
From heaven I fetch garments such
To make thee best dressed dame on earth.
For thy wear I get jewels
Not even by angels worn.
Thou being the crown jewel
Of the feminine world at large
How come then thou shun jewels!
Knowing as well youth is like
River that courses to the seas
Why not grant me thy favour
And thus make the best of life.
Since there none to rival thee
Having set the hallmark thus
Looks like Brahma ceased His work.
Perchance He now espies thee
Finding thou so well endowed
What with such rare sex appeal
Would He ever quit ogling thee?
Such is beauty of thy frame
Wherever I look I get stuck.
Dearth there none for mates for me
Brought them in scores from all lands
Yet I’ve taken to thy charms
Make I thee my Queen of Hearts.
Gods from I got such ransom
Made me that the richest man,
Not to speak of self as well
Won’t I place all at thy feet.
Worlds I conquered all the three
Wealth of nations I plundered
Consent if thou to take me
Gift all that to thy father.
None is there in heaven ’n earth
Dares who ever to cross my path.
Dust I made to bite enemies
Burnt their standards in their sight.
Since no one can rescue thee
Better thee tie thy life with me.
Know I value thee no end
Turn thy mind to life at hand.
Spend thy days in royal ways
Make we love in nights for long.
Having enslaved my heart now
Might well treat me as thy slave.
Weigh if thee that Ram and me
In the scale of thy interest
Won’t thou know the way it tilts?
Lost he crown when all too young
Could have died though not so old.
What if he still lives on earth
Gets he how a clue of thee?
Were he to get wind of thee
How doth he dare to face me?
O dear lady thou have won
The heart of mine the ladies man.
O femme fatale as I burn
For the possession of thy frame
Fail I women all who crave me.
See all these are queens no less
Make them willing maids to thee.
Served as thus by all of them
Won’t thou look a goddess then?
In the Pushpak that I won
Come to live like favoured one.
If ever thy man regains crown
Would he make a patch on me?
So that I add honey as well
Know thy buttered side of bread.
Lovebirds like we all our life
Live ever making love no end.
Canto 21 - Steadfast in Love
Hurt by Ravan’s words Seetha
Spoke to him thus in smooth tone.
How thou belittle my Lord Ram!
Doth it behove a learned man?
Blinded by thy lust Ravan
Fail thou see the God in Ram.
Having lovely wives in scores
Why eye me Ram’s only wife?
How come thou think Rama’s wife
Would ever bed with another man!
Pray thee divert from me lust
Engage all thy women in want.
Want as thou thy wives loyal
Let me be bound to my man.
Lust if thou for another’s wife
Won’t thou know that mars thy life?
That thee take the righteous path
Won’t’ thou have a right counsel?
Wonder how thee fail to see
Lanka by thine act would rue.
History all know bears witness
Ruined are kingdoms ruled by vile.
If thou wish thy Lanka well
Better bear that in mind O king.
Well O Ravan wicked as thee
Sure thou die like some street dog.
Hear as all those by thee hurt
Sure they feel good at thy death.
Sever as its rays never from sun
Never I would wean from my Ram.
Had I Rama’s arm for rest
Is there better for thee to give?
Gain as wisdom read who Vedas
It’s my Lord who gained my hand.
Help as might a gamekeeper
Beast on heat to find its mate
Let me lovelorn meet my man.
Why thou want to ruin thyself
Why not fences mend with Ram.
My Lord I tell is large hearted
Treats he kindly those penitent.
Take O Ravan my counsel
So thou could live for so long.
Plead I would thy case with Ram
Though thou hurt my cause no end.
Scare thou might the death even
Escape there none from his wrath.
Comes when Rama with war cry
Thou then shiver in thine own shoes.
Leave my Lord the king archer
Can thou stand up to Lakshman?
Come their arrows thick and fast
Where thee find some place to hide?
Know it won’t be beyond my man
Lakshman being there with him
To hunt down thee all to last man.
It’s no big deal for my man
To take me back by slaying thee.
Having known thy limitations
To confront my man in person
Don’t I know that thou contrived
That golden deer to keep him out.
Shame on thee O low Ravan
With that golden deer as ruse
The way thou snared me to Lanka.
It’s one thing to trick me then
When my man was not at home
As thou face Ram ’n Lakshman
Ball game it would be different.
Canst thou hold their little fingers
How can then thou fight them both?
Scorch as sun-rays ponds there all
Sharp their arrows sieve thy frame.
Earned as thee, wrath of Ram
Know thine end is so near end.
Canto 22 - Deadline to Death
Hurt as he by Seetha’s taunts
Spoke thus Ravan in harsh tone.
Wonder the way women all tend
Tends as enamoured man of them,
As though his stock fell so low
Tend they all to belittle him.
If not for my love for thee
Rein in how could my anger!
It’s but fondness for thee mine
Makes me spare the day for thee.
But for the fact thou won me
Head thine would have rolled by now.
Know the way thee rubbished me
Should’ve earned thee third degree.
Afflicted though by his lust
Couldn’t take Ravan Seetha’s snub.
Months two more is all I give
For thee to choose death or me.
Fail if thou to bed with me
Make thy flesh then my breakfast.
Feared all angels having heard
Threat that Ravan’s to Seetha.
Concern theirs for Seetha then
Made them signal her welfare.
Assured thus of angelic grace
Spoketh Seetha thus assured:
To put the right into thy head
Sad O Ravan thee have none.
Knowing that I’m Rama’s wife
Thinks fit none to day-dream me.
For the sin of snaring me
Escape there none thee from death.
Bid in thine to kidnap me
If not for thy fear of Ram
Why thee contrived his absence?
What to make of thy valour
Boast thou as from safe distance
From my Lord thou fear to face?
Ogle as thee Rama’s wife
Wonder how thou turned not blind ?
Abused as thou my Lord Ram
How come thou not turned yet dumb!
Given if Rama me the nod
Power I have to burn thee now.
It’s no joke to dupe my man
Ruse it’s but of thine own fate
Helped thee thus to hijack me
So that my Lord sees thy end.
For that cowardly act of thine
Boasts of thine all sound hollow.
Enraged by her words Ravan
Stared at her in seething rage.
Shook he as in burning wrath
Stilted sideways his gold crown.
Turned as his, eyes blood red
Peeled off sandal paste on him.
Turned to lumps of coal at once
Diamonds of his waist-band then.
On his arms with gold epaulets
Hair his stood all in straight lines.
Ear-rings his of bright corals
Matched they both the rising sun.
In his rage did Ravan seem
Like the funeral pyre on fire.
Hissed then Ravan in anger
Spoke to her thus in despair.
But for lack of common sense
How can someone fall for Ram!
Looks like I have lost patience
Time I end thy rein on life.
Having spoken to Ram’s wife
Addressed Ravan his own folk.
Know I lost my heart to her
Kept I whom as thy captive.
For the possession of this lass
Passion mine is ever on raise.
Until she takes me in arms
I can’t have the peace of mind.
If she were to turn my queen
Make her see the life in store.
Pander her to my embrace
Pamper would I her in bed.
Fails if she to fall in line
Torture all the way to hell.
Came at that an ardent dame
Spoke she then in passion thus:
Make me thine in heat Ravan
What thou get from this cold fish?
Brahma seems to have deprived
Her the chance to bed with thee.
Requites not if lass his love
Won’t she turn a pain in neck?
Mounts if man a dame in want
Takes she would him to his cum,
Having said that lass on heat
Forced then Ravan fence across.
Turned as ground their makeshift bed
Seemed as though the earth had quaked.
Came as he back from that jaunt
Led Ravan his women all home.
Went as he thus to Pushpak
Left was Seetha in panic.
Canto 23 - Guards that Pander
To see Ravan off the grove
Followed suit then guards all there.
At the bidding of their king
Trooped they all back to Seetha.
Felt they disgust for Seetha
That she rubbished Ravan thus.
Sang they praises of Ravan
Sense they tried to put in her.
In time lost a guard temper
And then spoke to Seetha thus:
Great grandad of king Ravan
Is none other than Lord Brahma.
Ravan’s father Visravas
Was the son of Pulasthyu.
Looks thy wits have gone astray
To snub Brahma’s great grandson.
To give Seetha more of lead
Harijata took the baton then.
Don’t thee know that Ravan’s might
Made all demigods turn their backs?
To make Ravan thine own man
Wonder how thou take so long?
To entice Seetha for their Lord
Praised then Praghasa thus Ravan:
Loves no less his queen Ravan
Looks whose make thee pale even
That’s why it’s all seem so strange
That our king should take to thee.
Harem his filled to the brim
With beauties of rarest kind
Who would rival thee no less.
Taunting Seetha as her wont
Took-off then an amorous one.
Dames all die to climb his bed
Craves he but to bed with thee
Seem thou fail to well perceive
What’s it like his lovemaking?
Sun said another in same vein
Looks so pale at Ravan’s glow.
Why thou fail to bask thyself
In the embrace of such man?
At thy feet is king of kings
Wonder how thee shun him thus.
Well be thou in Ravan’s bed
Why thee opt for then deathbed.
Canto 24 - Carrot and Stick
Finding Seetha still unmoved
Thought the better of guards all then
Brought they dreamland close to her.
Said they all in one tone then
None there ever a Pushpak like
In which Ravan keeps his queens.
For thy man the Lankan gates
Out of bounds by Ravan made
Stop thy lament for lost cause
Make the best as Lankan queen.
Know Ravan is Fortune One
Takes thee as his beloved one
Grant he would thine every wish.
Even one-night stand with him
Make thee forget thy man’s want
Lost who throne ’n failed thee too.
For all they said to pander her
Hurt was Seetha’s aggrieved soul
Take she could no more of that.
Stop thy tirade of my man
Know it’s sin to belittle him
And to pander his spouse thus.
Prefer I die as Rama’s wife
Than to live as Ravan’s queen.
Though he lost the crown of his
Sits he yet on my heart’s throne.
What if he lacks worldly wealth
Makes me rich his manly worth.
Apart though are our bodies
Milk and water make our souls.
It’s thy foolishness to think
My man can’t ever make it here,
In the palanquin of my heart
Didn’t I bring him so long back?
Raged as were they by her sneer
Enraged they mobbed all her then.
Saw as he the scene Hanuman
Feared he then for Seetha’s life.
Frightful as all made themselves
Shivered then Seetha in her shoes.
Picked up they all pick-axes
Poked they Seetha with stick’s end.
At that Hanuman saw Seetha
Run for cover to where he was.
Chased all Seetha all the way
Nail they could her in the end.
Worked all single minded then
To make Seetha change her mind.
To floor Seetha for their Lord
Took then fiendish Vinatha floor.
It’s as well thee stood by Ram
It’s time that thee shift thy base.
For thy steadfastness to Ram
Looks like gods all granted thee
Fortune that’s rare for fair sex
That of becoming Ravan’s queen.
Why to speak in equal terms
Can Ram match his little finger?
Block thy past as Rama’s wife
Gloat thyself as Ravan’s queen.
Why not take thee Ravan’s hand
And turn toast of all three worlds?
In time thy man in despair
Wander would he to deathbed.
Were thou fail to heed our words
Won’t we make a meal of thee?
With her sagging breasts that swing
Venomous Vikata came forward.
Spoketh as thee words such rash
It’s our goodness that spared thee.
Brought thee Ravan to this shore
Forget that Ram comes this far.
Dares none ever to eye Lanka
Scope there none for thy escape.
Invoke and see Lord Indra
How he fears our king Ravan.
What’s the sense in thy crying
It’s time that thee jump for joy.
Surely thou pass prime in time
As the favoured of Ravan
Why not make the best of prime?
In the garden of thy bloom
It’s all joy rides with Ravan.
At the beck and call we all
Come to serve thee all the time.
Fail if thee take Ravan’s hand
Fail we not to sever thy head.
Chandodari then put her mace
On breasts daunting of Seetha.
Is it not to enjoy these
Assets ample of snow white
Brought thee Ravan all the way?
As thou let not Ravan lay
Hands his eager on thy breasts
Make I would them food for me.
At that Praghasa spoken thus:
Why to waste our breath on her
Why not stuff out breath of hers.
As she failed to lay with him
Learns as Ravan of her death
Won’t he let us feast her flesh?
Set the pyre to roast her well
And fetch I arrack in barrels.
Surpanakha thus spoketh then:
Find I tiring all this grind
Guarding Seetha round the clock.
High time it’s all brought to end
In grand orgy with her flesh.
Put they thus the fear of death
In Seetha who then liked to live
For the sake of Ram she loved.
Canto 25 - Hapless Soul
Guards as gave her no respite
Broke down Seetha in despair.
Seetha in time pulled herself
And thus explained her position.
It’s no custom for humans
To get wed to the demonic folk.
Stick I would to our tradition
Leave the rest to thy decision.
Having stated her position
Sulked then Seetha in distress.
Cornered as would deer hunted
Crouched there Seetha in dismay.
Like a withered leaf on floor
Lovelorn Seetha thus there lay.
Tears those profuse as she shed
Passed her valley in thick streams.
In her fright then her frail frame
Looked like banana plant in storm.
In her fear as shivered Seetha
Snake like shrivelled then her black plait.
Ceased as Seetha not to sigh
Blouse her wet then turned all dry.
In her pain then Seetha wailed
‘Oh my Rama where art thou’!
Why not thou me give consent
Now to die though love to live
To spend the rest of life with thee.
Won’t it prove the words of wise
One can’t time his death himself?
Takes as leaking boat its time
To sink down to the ocean bed
What if my grief kills me slow?
Seems my sorrow cuts my heart
Erode as floods the banks there all.
What else it’s but misfortune
To lose such a good husband.
Suffer I like the one who took
Arsenic on one’s way to death.
Looks like I am paying price
For the misdeeds of last birth.
See none escape route to Ram
Better I draw the curtains now
On the accursed life of mine.
How I forgot as his wife
Until he doth give his nod
Right none have I to take life!
Canto 26 - Wandering Thoughts
Sense of respect for her man
Made her position all the worse.
Having lost her nerve in time
Cried she like a hapless child.
With the intent to snare me
Cruel Ravan lured my man
With that golden deer I craved.
That thy canny Ravan made
Me the captive of thee folk
Taunt as thou by sadist pranks
Intent have I none to live.
Of what avail is my life now
Useless since it’s to my Lord.
Seems my heart is made of steel
Or else grief mine sundered same.
Sans Ram life is leper like
Since I nurse it nonetheless
What a worthless woman am I?
What a man is my Lord Ram
Sans him what doth life portend?
How I wish thou kill me now
Bear I can this pain no more.
Not even with mile long pole
Touch I would that wretched Ravan.
Scorned by me as all the way
What a shameless man is he
So to crave for hand of mine?
No way I would turn to him
Why thou waste thy time on me?
Wonder how my wondrous man
Came to spare this beastly man!
On his own did slay my Lord
Demons fourteen thousand once.
What threat Ravan would then pose
To my Lord who killed those fiends?
He who slain Viradha then
Would he fail to save me now?
True it’s no mean task to come
To Ravan’s land in midst of seas
But can one ever stop my man?
Still I wonder why Rama
Fails to come to my rescue!
Looks like my Lord is clueless
Where his beloved wife is held,
If not for that wouldn’t he chase
Ravan all the way to hell?
When he took him in mid-air
Clipped as Jataayu’s wings Ravan
Who then Rama makes privy
It was Ravan that snared me!
How I owe my gratitude
To that noble bird so old
Who fought Ravan for my sake.
Should Rama get wind of me
Won’t he descend on this land
Whirlwind like to suck Ravan?
Won’t he turn on his wrath then
On the demonic Ravan’s force?
Won’t thus Lankan women all get
Measure for measure of my pain then?
One and all of Ravan’s men
Would find too hot to handle
Ram in battle with Lakshman.
Won’t all funeral pyres redden
Skies of Lanka for days on?
It’s all Ravan’s mindlessness
Brings which Lanka to the brink.
Won’t I see omens portend
Lanka’s fall in near future?
Bites as Ravan battle dust
Brings that Lanka to nadir.
As thy men all go to hell
Won’t thee then all pine for them?
With no male to caress thee
Wail all thee in every hearth.
Comes all this true when Rama
Learns here Ravan confines me.
Lands as Ram in hot pursuit
Ravan would have no respite.
Naïve is Ravan for he gloats
That he kept me on death row.
Won’t he shortly come to know
That he himself dug his grave?
Deserve demons no more now
Graves than mass in barren lands.
Having put a brave face thus
Gripped was Seetha yet by doubts!
Can I come to see my Ram
Should vile Ravan keeps his word
And gets served me for breakfast?
Might my Lord have thought I died
Or else wouldn’t he scan all earth?
Taking me for dead and gone
Man mine would have given up life.
Won’t he gladden gods all there
Stay with his in heaven of theirs?
Would a godly man like Ram
Need to keep his woman in mind?
Out of sight is out of mind
Maybe norm with all humans,
With his sense of fairness Ram
Won’t he cherish his life with me?
Wonder how I met this fate
Being wife of such great soul!
Turned as void for his loss
Why hanker for life I now?
Having lost the will to fight
What if Ram ’n Lakshman too
Penance to taken in despair!
Who knows wily Ravan didn’t
Contrive death of Ram and him.
See I no end of misery
Carry why now more of it?
Come I nowhere near yogis
For whom joys and sorrows
Meaning have none of their own.
But the rest all gloat fortune
And get shaken by hard times.
Ram as is not there to guide
Why not I take my own life?
Canto 27 - Dream of a Nightmare
Seetha’s intent to end life
Made some scurry to Ravan.
Stayed some back to turn their ire
On Rama’s spouse in despair then.
That thou would be put to death
No need for thee to end life.
Rose then Trijata one learned
Appraised thus the risks involved.
She’s Janaka’s daughter fair
Married young to Dasarath’s son
Reveres whom world as Lord Rama.
Slept off as I dream I had
Trouble that portends to us all.
Trijata’s prophesy of doomsday
Shell-shocked those on Seetha’s guard.
Detail now thou dream thy had
Makes thee speak thus so frightened.
Averred well Trijata that she saw
Heavenly palanquin in her dream.
Reclined therein Ram in white
Stood by Lakshman in blood red.
Found I Seetha in my dream
Sit on sky-high white mountain.
Mounted then Ram ’n Lakshman
Huge white elephant with four tusks.
Oh that elephant that unique
Made they to that mountain peak.
Taken as if cue from Ram
Lowered its back that white giant.
For her to climb up to him
Gave Ram his hand to Seetha.
Having sat thus in Ram’s lap
Rose as Seetha so to probe
Saw I touch her sun ’n moon.
Took they chariot swift all then
Drawn by bulls all eight snow white.
Drove it Lakshman to us straight
Ram and Seetha came our midst.
In our land as they landed
Reached out Pushpak in welcome.
Having took them on its board
Flew off Pushpak then northwards.
It’s as if gods beckon Rama
Makes that risky for Ravan.
Saw I Ravan in my dream
Drunkard like lay on the floor.
In his flight to save his skin
Seems he slipped from thus Pushpak.
Saw I Ravan’s tonsured head
Peeping from that donkey cart.
Looked he like one out of mind
Madman like he played then pranks.
In all fear then fell Ravan
On all fours in front of Ram.
Tore he all his garments then
Lost he coherence as he raved.
Went he then to hole so foul
Filled with filth and night soil.
Pushed as was he by some lass
Fouled he was from head to foot.
All the way to that quagmire
Dragged was Kumbhakarna too
As though to share Ravan’s fate.
Saw I naked Ravan’s sons
Riding southward on wild beasts.
In that pell-mell in Lanka
Found I Vibhishan stand his ground
Waving that white flag at Ram.
All in white with his aura
Wore Vibhishan then Lankan crown.
Held as Vibhishan Court Royal
Played then music Band Royal.
Climbed he up a white elephant
With his men wise four in tow.
Heard I demon folk of Lanka
Playing drums to funeral tunes.
To the brim of its gables
Saw I Lanka sink in seas.
With his burning tail I saw
Came down Rama’s aid on us,
Torched as he thus one by one
Went up in flames homes of all.
Lanka as was thus burning
Wailing I saw women in streets.
Saw I men folk of Lanka
Apply cow dung on their wives.
So to escape Rama’s wrath
Better we into woods retreat.
No man ever spares tormentors
Of the woman he comes to love.
Stop thy tirade at Seetha
Seek her pardon for thy life.
Portend but well such dreams all
For those hapless women forlorn.
Count thou on her good nature
Though all thee had abused her.
Nothing but her forgiveness
Can save us from Rama’s ire.
Take this all as just bad patch
In her glorious reign on earth.
In the regal mien of queen
Seen I Seetha with Rama
Flying back to her native.
Portends trouble to our Ravan
At the hands of Seetha’s man.
See that eyelid left her twitch
Fetches it news her all good.
Shoulder as her left spasms
It’s but signal troubles exit.
See I quivering her left thigh
Know it portends no different.
Heard I some bird tell Seetha
Expect she could her man soon.
Having heard what Trijata said
In her goodness Rama’s wife
Promised them all safe passage
As and when Ram comes chasing.
Canto 28 - On the Verge
Stunned as guards all kept silent
Had then Seetha yet second thought.
Recalled as she Ravan’s threat
Thought she fit to end her life.
Wonder didn’t I drop dead now
Ravan though scared me to death!
If it were not made of stone
Why wouldn’t sorrow break my heart?
Better on my own end my life
Fiends all here sure skin me live.
Fails to turn up if my Lord
Bound to cruel Ravan then
Like a surgeon at his work
Turn his scalpel on my frame.
Since the outer limit he gave
Me to lean my mind on him
Would be at hand in two months
Feel I like one on death row
To be led for her hanging
One fine morning to gallows.
How can ever I tell my folk
Fate mine is like boat that caught
In the storm of high seas now.
It’s by craving golden deer
Brought I ruin on all of us.
Looks like ill-fate was at work
To make me lose my common sense.
Thou all-knowing O my Lord
How thou fail to come to know
Me that Ravan vowed to kill?
My heart though is set on thee
It’s as though thou forsook me.
O my Lord, how come thou
Thought it fit to ignore me!
When thou regain crown thine soon
Won’t thou regale with new queens?
But thy Seetha likes to end
Life hers as thy faithful one.
Loyal here all to Ravan
Who would poison me procure?
Wavered as her hapless mind
So she wandered for low branch.
In her bid to hang herself
Coiled she her hair that long.
Thought she dearly of her man
And her beloved brother-in-law.
As she was to take the plunge
Paused she finding omens some good.
Canto 29 - Good Tidings
Courtiers as would flock to kings
Omens good came in thick and fast.
Twitched her left eye unceasing
Turned as bright her dark eyes then.
Shoulder splendid of hers left
Wont to shoulder Rama’s head
Seized by spasm to usher good.
As if her man was on hand
Shivered the left one in welcome
Wondrous thigh of hers so round
As if Rama sought them both
Slid down pallu from her breasts.
Having read the signals right
Seed she seemed at onset sown
Of that monsoon which was full.
In the phase of post eclipse
Moon like looked then Rama’s wife.
Felt at all ease Seetha then
Hoping better days would come soon.
Canto 30 - Hanuman’s Dilemma
Picture perfect of Seetha
From his hiding got Hanuman.
Divined having Seetha thus
Gloated Hanuman his fortune.
Hoping to see Rama’s wife
Roam as my peers world over
Blessed am I that gods all willed
It’s me but who finds her now.
Having come to Ravan’s land
Won’t my spying aid Rama?
Privy if to ins and outs
Of the fortress of Lanka
Won’t that come all so handy
For Lord Ram to win this war?
Isn’t lament pulling her
How to infuse hope in her!
Worry she had none of yore
Neck deep now she in sorrow
Won’t I owe it to my Lord
Console should I his beloved.
Were I to fail to infuse hope
In the hapless Rama’s spouse
Of what avail this trip mine?
Fail if I to inform her
Rama’s intent to reach her
In her state of helplessness
Won’t I leave her high and dry?
Truly it’s my chance of life
Make I could Ram feel at ease
With the news of her welfare.
How to make it to Seetha
Encircled by Ravan’s guards?
Fail if I to sound her now
In her hapless state of mind
Might end her life as it dawns.
Fail if I to speak to her
What am I to tell her man?
Were I to go back to Rama
Without a word from his beloved
Won’t that make him frustrated?
Fail if I were to lift her
Before we close in on Ravan
Won’t she bring her life to close?
Why rush back to Kishkindha
Why not find I ways ’n means
To appraise her of Rama’s plans.
Speak I might as well to her
To make her know there all to know.
Were I to converse in Sanskrit
Might she take me for Ravan
In the guise of Rama’s friend.
Let me talk in native slang
That she takes me for vanar.
In her state of shock Seetha
See might in me weird creature.
Fearing Ravan came in disguise
What if Seetha starts shouting?
With the knives all drawn out now
Won’t guards all those gherao me?
Might they as well try to kill
Me to serve as mid-day meal.
Well, would they find me sitting duck
Won’t I jump from branch to branch.
As I go on gaining size
Won’t they shiver all down their spines?
Forces to fetch to rein me
Won’t they all to Ravan run?
Won’t then Ravan send his force
Chance that gives me to take them.
But in that sea of his army
How to find an escape route?
If I were to get captured
Fail I would to contact her,
So she fails to get the wind
Of the state of Rama’s mind?
Seetha as would stay perturbed
Won’t that make my trip wasted?
Keeps that Rama in darkness
Place where Ravan confined her.
Were I to get killed or captured
Leaves that Rama in square one.
Can one Rama find to cross
Sea this vast to reach Seetha?
Take I can all Ravan’s men
But that drags on for so long
Thus I can’t go back in time.
How can one ever zero on
One who wins the war on hand
Gauge I till width of the gulf
Wise it not to go for jump.
If I were to turn my tail
How would Seetha get my trial,
Were I to try to talk to her
Won’t I have a war on hand?
Won’t the success of errands
Come to depend on the one
Vested who is with the same?
Won’t the best of well-laid plans
Go awry in hands of those
That lack tact to tackle them?
Better I fail not Rama’s cause
With some thoughtless act of mine.
How to make her take it cool
That me her man sent for her!
In the hearing of her now
Mutter if I would Rama’s tale
Might it as well dawn on her
It was her Lord that sent me.
Won’t my words in praise of Ram
Bring back memories of their time?
So to sing then Rama’s tale
In the hearing of his spouse
Perched then Hanuman on low branch.
Canto 31 - Rama’s Ballad
For Seetha’s ears then Rama’s tale
Sang in sonorous tone Hanuman.
In lineage old of Ikshvaakus
Known to all for his valour
Dasarath was the reigning king.
Noble as he was the king
Valued was he like a saint
Power he had to rival gods.
Generous was he by nature
Took he care of his subjects
Ruled he like a god on earth.
For his righteous reign Dasarath
Earned he fame the world over.
Esteemed he his eldest son
Known to all as Lord Rama,
Prowess his to target well
Arrows at his enemies awe.
Wavers not he from dharma
Adheres he to human rights
Keeps his word at every turn
Gives no quarter to enemies.
Stepmother of Ram, Kaikeyi
Wanted who crown for her son
Coerced as she Dasarath then
Gave up Ram thus his birthright
So led Seetha with Lakshman
To the thick woods of Dandak.
Demons that ruled roost in Dandak
Menaced they folk lived all there
Killed them all Ram at one go
Restored he thus righteous reign.
At the news of kindred’s death
Thought of settling scores Ravan,
So he summoned Maareecha
Turned who into golden deer
Tempting Seetha to seek him,
Sent then Seetha Ram to fetch
Magic deer that stole her heart,
Arrow when Ram’s hit Maareech
Rent he cries then mimicking him
Made which Seetha fear for Ram,
Goaded Rama’s wife Lakshman
To go in search of his sibling,
With none there to stand by her
Kidnapped Ravan Seetha then.
Set as he on search for spouse
Came Ram in touch with Sugreev
Stole whose wife his own sibling.
To uphold dharma then Rama
Slew he Vali that mighty
Helping Sugreev ascend throne.
In time as per pact he made
Sent Sugreev his vanar force
In search of Seetha thus missing.
It’s my fortune that I came
Place to this in search of her.
Picture have I of Seetha
Painted for me by Rama.
Won’t this lady well tally
Picture with that Ram gave me?
Spake as he with all his warmth
Looked up Rama’s wife in hope.
Found though she no soul in sight
What she heard then made her glad.
Sensing Seetha’s upbeat mood
From hideout then came out Hanuman.
Canto 32 - Is it True?
Aura Hanuman’s made Seetha
Think in terms of sun at dawn
Peeping out of branching trees.
Stared then Seetha in wonder
Hanuman sighted in splendour.
Wondered in awe then Seetha
Who that wondrous vanar was.
As she was at loss to know
What to make of that visitor
Prayed she then Ram for guidance.
Stared as Hanuman at her long
In her awe then swooned Seetha.
Seetha at length pulled herself
Wondered whether she had a dream.
Looked then Seetha all over
Waking up though from her sleep.
Finding Hanuman staring her
Lost she consciousness at once.
Regained sense as she in time
Recalled she then that proverb
Portend simians ill in dreams.
Felt then Seetha to start with
Wink with none in lovelorn state
How she could have had a dream!
Since I tend to think of Ram
All the time with never a pause
What I heard that simian sing
Product could be of my mind.
Song as it’s that my heart sings
Seems my ears have probed inside.
But then it’s no illusion
Him I see in flesh and blood.
May god bless that what he said
Would come true to bring me cheer.
Canto 33 - Genesis of Exile
Seeing Seetha’s demeanour change
Gladdened Hanuman’s heart no end.
Folding his hands in reverence
Approached he then Rama’s wife.
Find thee grieving for some time
What doth make thee feel so sad?
Thy eyes that are all welled up
Make they clear that thou are hurt.
From thy bearing one can see
Come that thou from noble stock.
Tend I think that thou are none
But an angel strayed to earth.
Wonder thou could be North Star
Came down here from those high skies.
Pray thee tell me who art thou
Have thee left thy man in huff?
Seen thee grieving for some time
Have thee lost some dear soul then?
The more I see thee lovely one
All the more I hold thee high.
O thy bearing ’n demeanour
No less empress make thee look.
Are thee hapless Seetha then
Snared by Ravan from thy man?
Making two plus two as four
Take I thee for Rama’s wife.
Spoke as Hanuman to her thus
Seetha thought it fit to speak.
Dasarath was the king of kings
Daughter in-law am his near
Treated me he daughter like.
Seetha am king Janaka’s dear
Given in marriage to Rama
Son of Kausalya the Queen.
In that palace of Koshal
What a life I led with Ram
For the best of twelve summers.
Heavenly rule to bring on earth
Came then time to crown Rama.
Thought it fit then Kaikeyi
Dasarath’s favoured number three
To see her son then ascend throne.
Made she clear then to Dasarath
Surely she would starve to death
Were he to crown Ram instead.
Pressed as she her suit to hilt
Cited she then that caveat
Cater would the king to her
Wishes three all when expressed.
Pulled as by his love for Ram
Stressed as Dasarath to the core
Wanted she that Ram may spend
From then fourteen years in woods.
Bound as Dasarath to his word
Sounded he then his first-born.
Gladly my man gave up then
Birthright his to rule his land.
Ordained thus by Kaikeyi
Set to Dandak woods then Ram.
Wanting hassles none for me
Wanted Ram that I stayed back.
What was there for me to cling
On to Dasarath’s palace then
When my man was not at home?
Not the one to forego Ram
Lakshman too then joined us.
That’s how three of us entered
Those thick jungles of Dandak.
Neared as end of our exile
Snared me Ravan from my man.
Intends Ravan to kill me
Were I to fail to take his hand
No more than in two more months,
Who is there to tell my man
Made up my mind to die now
For none I would have of Ravan.
Canto 34 - Swings in Mood
Moved as Hanuman to the core
Made he move to soothe Seetha.
Know am Hanuman Rama’s man
Came in search of thee his spouse.
Rama is so scholarly
Well versed he with four Vedas
Possesses as well Brahmastra
Spares that none in combat zone.
Know Lakshman is no less sad
That he made thee hapless then.
Having heard all what he said
Joyous turned then Rama’s wife.
Hoping for the best in life
How well said that one should live.
Felt all at ease then Seetha
With the simian her man sent.
Seeing change in Seetha thus
Moved he then to reach her close.
What if Ravan came disguised
Developed Seetha thus second thought.
Opened my mind to Ravan
What a fool all I made myself!
Taking Hanuman for Ravan
Sank in sorrow then Seetha.
Saddened as her change of stance
Bent then Hanuman in reverence.
Sighed then Seetha at her fate
She at length thus addressed him.
In thy disguise as vanar
Won’t I know thee vile Ravan?
How come thou think I forgot
Saintly garb donned by thee then?
What a shame on thee Ravan
Stalk thou dame so unwilling?
Sensing Hanuman in distress
Looked she into his eyes then,
Feelings what she saw in him
Made her sing a different tune:
Make as thou me feel easy
And that Ravan puts me off
Think my fears are but liars
Seems thou art but Rama’s man.
If thou are by Rama sent
Won’t thee tell me his welfare?
Flood waters as wear river-banks
Rama’s name so weans sorrows.
Is it true and not a dream
That Rama’s Hanuman is with me?
Making nights for me wink-less
That Ram can’t sooth me in dreams
Seems dream-god is jealous of me!
Sights as ’n when man vanar
Said to bring all good tidings,
Came I face-to-face with thee
Won’t it then all portend well?
How come at the drop of hat
Changing am I my thinking?
Time I kept my doubts at bay
Lest Ravan should gain leeway.
In spite of her averments thus
Failed Seetha to trust Hanuman.
Having into shell withdrawn
Kept she then her own counsel.
Having gauged her state of mind
Addressed Hanuman her sweetly.
It’s but sun-like shines thy Ram
Nears him when moon turns all pale.
Him none equals in learning
Rivals gods in kindness Ram.
Sight at his all vile turn pale
Next to him looks Cupid but plain.
Using his man Maareecha
Turned who into golden deer
Contrived Ravan to make Ram
Chase it leaving thee his spouse.
Ram in time would let Ravan
Pay the price for snaring thee.
To make thee privy his intent
Sent I was by thine own Lord.
Lovelorn Ram is crestfallen
Lakshman too is ever eager
To set thee free from evil Ravan.
Pledged his force all Lord Sugreev
That Lord Ram could fight Ravan.
Back home all but think of thee
Know they sent me to trace thee.
Take it won’t thee long to meet
Ram and Lakshman in this spot.
Treats me equal as Sugreev
Servant like I serve thy Ram.
Crossed I know the sea this vast
Bade by Ram to reach thee now.
Know it none of Ravan’s tricks
But am Hanuman Rama’s man.
Canto 35 - Winning the Trust
Spoke as Hanuman in that vein
Developed Seetha trust in him.
She then said in sonorous tone –
How come Rama came in touch
With thee and thy Lord Sugreev?
How can thou be so certain
Ram ’n Lakshman that thou met.
Tell O Hanuman for my sake
Facial features of those two.
Gladdened as she opened up
Spoke thus Hanuman to Seetha:
Talking no end of thy man
It’s a pleasure of its own kind.
Recall as I his features
Solace it would thy sad heart.
Whether it’s godly frame of his
Or his kindly heart therein
None can ever know which scores more.
While frame his is mid-sun like
Hath he patience of mother earth.
Gives he shelter who might seek
Blemish he hath none in conduct.
Lays he store on noble thoughts
Goads his folk to think likewise.
Leads he life of celibate now
Fate as thee thus weaned from him.
None he slights as come to seek
Given not Ram to spare who dare.
Hath he Vedas all by heart
Excels he ever in warfare.
Second to none he in valour
None there equals him in grace.
Whoso submit tone his soothes
Terse it turns to those oppose.
While at ease he seems vigorous
Looks he strong from head to foot.
Frame his seven-foot is well built
Face his oblong ever looks good.
Lips his rosy slip like glove
Rows teeth over of snow white.
Eyes his wide both compelling
Strike so dark and deep as well.
Manner as well demeanour his
Holds good adage of old thus
Handsome is as handsome doth.
Worthy no less than thy man
Lakshman the brother-in-law thine.
If thy Ram is blue diamond
Lakshman is all golden-hued.
It’s the search for thee Seetha
Brought them both to Kishkindha.
Banished as by his sibling
Met them Sugreev in hiding.
Sugreev as was good to us
Followed we his loyal band.
It was thus we came to meet
Ram ’n Lakshman dressed all coarse.
But Ram had that bow on him
Make which would all bow to him.
Sighted as he them in arms
Shivered but Sugreev in his pants.
Sent me my Lord on errand
So that I could befriend them.
Made I thus thy man privy
Plight of our own Lord so good.
Having heard that story Ram
Thought it fit to meet Sugreev.
Realized as they both of them
Sail they thus in same boat then
Lords those both came ever so close.
Consoled Rama vanar Lord
Lost who wife to his sibling.
Said then Lakshman to Sugreev
Seems Ram’s spouse was snared by some.
That Ram had to lose his wife
Made Sugreev grieve all the more.
Flew as Ravan thee by force
Recall how thee threw jewels
From the skies of Kishkindha.
Showed we them all to thy man
Told we know not who snared thee.
How the sound of that landing
Still rings fresh in Kishkindha?
Sighted as he thy jewels
Fainted Ram in Lakshman’s lap.
Compelled as if by thy thought
Woke up Ram and tapped them all.
As if to dust them all then
Shed Ram tears on all of them.
Left with no more drop to drop
Seemed he drained his heart for thee.
For safe keeping of them all
Gave them Ram to Sugreeva.
Having thus lost thee consort
There none is to console Ram.
Had he no wink all these days
Pines he ever to sleep with thee
Having lost the trace of thee
Know thy man is truly lost.
Lost as he his lovely spouse
Pleases him none spring even.
It’s for certain that Rama
Would kill Ravan in Lanka.
Know vanars all bound by oath
Take thee back soon to thy Lord.
For he slew the vile Vali
Oath we took to help thy Lord.
Having crowned our Sugreeva
As the king of Kishkindha
Won’t we all owe to thy man?
Grateful Sugreev vow then took
To help thy man to get thee back.
It’s in thy search Sugreeva
Sent all simians to scan earth.
Bade us Sugreev not to leave
Stone unturned to search Seetha.
Vanars are on global hunt
To nail the vile who snared thee thus.
Angad son of slain Vali
Marched with some of us southward.
Lost we way in vast Vindhyas
Groped in dark for several weeks.
Not to go sans breaking news
To our Lord who owed thy man
Thought we all to end our lives.
If ever it came to the crunch
Felt we should die exhausted
In search of Rama’s dear Seetha.
Haunted by our own failure
Lost we hope of finding thee.
Low then we all felt to core
Lay we flat on mountain peak
Flew in then Sampaathi
Sibling of slain Jataayu.
Having heard his sibling’s death
Spaketh thus the agonized bird.
Pray thee tell me O vanars
Who did kill my good sibling?
Angad then told Sampaathi
Trying to save Rama’s spouse
Lost his sibling his own life.
Having heard the story thus
Sampaathi then told Angad
With the bird’s-eye view of his
Sensed he Ram’s spouse in Lanka.
Having got the clue from him
Led us southward then Angad.
At the prospect of success
Enthused were then all of us.
Sea vast in time as we reached
Poured that water on our hopes.
In that Angad and the rest
Saw the mission as ending there.
But the urge to find out thee
Made me lunge that sea across.
Chance I had to see Ravan
Glad I met my Rama’s wife.
It’s me Rama’s own Hanuman
Treat me as thine own servant.
Know am none but Vayu’s son
Trust that Rama yearns for thee.
Lakshman as is wont of his
Is at Rama’s beck and call.
Sent me Sugreev to Lanka
In the service of thy Lord.
At the news of thy kidnap
Sunk our vanar folk in grief.
Break I when the news to them
Know they all would jump for joy.
Hears as Rama thou are sad
Won’t he itch to take thee soon?
Know am but the son born to
Anjana Devi queen of queens.
Married though she king Kesar
Womb hers was by Vayu blessed.
Valour of mine ’n conduct
Spread far ’n wide fame of mine.
Brought I thee as good tidings
Time thee look for happy times.
Ardour that she found in him
Made then Seetha trust Hanuman.
With the change of her mind thus
Rolled on her cheeks tears of joy.
With that bright look on her face
Shone she like a full moon then
Freshly out of grand eclipse.
Knowing that he won her trust
Spoke then Hanuman to her thus:
It’s time that I now start moving
Pray tell whatever in thy mind
Treat I would as Rama’s word.
Being none but Wind God’s son
Strength I have to fly all worlds.
Canto 36 - More of the Same
Went on Hanuman in same vein
So that Seetha trusts him more.
O Lord Rama’s revered wife
Gave thy man this ring of his
Me to pass on to thee now.
Guessed thy man thy state of mind
Felt his ring would make thee trust
Me he sent in search of thee.
Grabbed then Seetha Rama’s ring
Fondled it for ever so long
As she would her husband’s hand.
Aided by that bright diamond
Face her glowed like moon in bloom.
Reminisced as she Rama’s love
Turned then coyer her demeanour.
For the valour he had shown
Seetha in time praised Hanuman.
One as would a small canal
Wonder how thou crossed the sea!
It’s but bravado O Hanuman
For thou came to face Ravan.
That thou enjoy my man’s trust
Know thee have my trust as well.
Came it when to judging men
Know my man is none to err.
That Rama is keeping fit
Take that as my good fortune.
Having lost his loving wife
Wonder why it takes so long
For him to scorch all this earth!
Looks like I am ill-fated
That Ravan could confine me
Wife of whom all gods give way.
Hope not my loss made Rama
Lose his nerve to face Ravan.
Despair in his at my loss
Hath it made him lose focus?
Hath he in his forlorn state
Lost all interest in his mates?
Came it when to foes of his
Hath he softened in his stance?
Bid in his to rescue me
Can he count on his allies?
Doth he draw his plans with care?
And yet to make it good in life
Need as men all gods’ blessings
Won’t he pray for his success?
Hope not year long separation
Made him lose his love for me.
Knew he not what hardship is
Wonder how he bears all this!
Hope they are all doing fine
Won’t he get to hear from home?
Beset by grief of my absence
What if Rama got bogged down
And goes he slow on my rescue?
Dutiful sibling that he is
To join battle with Ravan
Did Bharata send his army?
Would thy good Lord Sugreeva
Force his bring to fight my cause?
Know I Lakshman on his own
Can take Ravan and his men.
Hope the day is not far off
Ravan when is felled by Ram.
Doth the heat of his passion
Stoked thus by my separation
Wont to wither his handsomeness?
Word to keep of his father
Left he crown with no regret,
With no bother in the world
Led me with him to the woods,
Now that I am not with him
Hath he lost the track of life?
Loves as he me dear than self
Loves his people nonetheless.
Having reminisced her man thus
Hoping Hanuman picks up threads
Kept then silent Rama’s spouse.
Having read her mind Hanuman
Made the position clear then thus:
In the know is not thy Lord
Ravan it was who snared thee.
Report as I back to Ram
Ravan it’s thee made captive
Won’t he descend on Lanka
With our vanar force to boot?
To help us land in Ravan’s land
Won’t he with his arrows make
Bridges across sea though vast?
Were the god of death to try
Stop to Rama in his tracks
Won’t he slain that god even?
Sans his consort to comfort
Stirs Ram in bed restlessly.
To espy thy man in Lanka
Takes it not long for thee now.
On my word O Rama’s dear
Day that now is not far off.
Sees as Rama demeanour thine
Won’t his visage turn so bright?
Touches he not drink or meat
Partakes but a meagre meal.
Fails he feel the flies on him
Lives as he lost in thy thought.
Engrossed as ever in thy thought
Thought he hath none for the rest.
Forlorn in his eyes so deep
Barring eyelids from closing
Fills thy picture to the brim.
Sees as he a flower or fruit
Wont it his to sigh for thee.
Sad though he in separation
None he slacks in preparation
To take thee back for reparation.
That her man would rescue her
Made the hapless Seetha glad,
But the plight of her beloved
Made the spouse of Rama sad.
Canto 37 - Aborted Move
In time Seetha gave Hanuman
The key to state of mind of hers.
That my man is so constant
Lifts my spirits all well to skies
But the news of his despair
Pulls me down back to square one.
Vices if were to drag down
Man on road of his misery
In the plenty of riches
Forever loses man his course
Can one really overcome
What is ordained by his fate?
Won’t my story underscore
Aspect this of life on earth.
In the high seas of sorrows
Boat of my life as capsized
Can my man ever carry me
To the joyous shores of life?
When Rama would bring nadir
Closer to the Lankan shores?
Tell Rama to beat deadline
Set by Ravan for my death.
For Ravan to snuff my life
Left are just but two more months.
Plead did my case Vibhishan
But paid deaf ear his sibling.
Won’t make my man Ravan pay
The price for treating me badly?
Told me Anala in person
Daughter dear of Vibhishan.
Aid de Ravan Avindhya
Advised his Lord in public
‘Better give Seetha to her man’.
Averred Ravan’s ablest aide
Lands when Rama in Lanka
That would be the end of it.
Sixth sense of mine seems to tell
That my man would come for sure.
It’s not in Ram to leave his wife
High and dry in enemies’ hands.
Know I know that he did kill
Demons in thousands at one go.
Know I my man can tackle
Ticklish things as one trivia
Strike his arrows his enemies
As would lightning its targets.
Felt glad Hanuman he induced
Hope in Rama’s distressed spouse.
To cheer Seetha all the more
Assured he then Ram would come.
Or else why not escape now
Carry thee would on my back
And land thee in thy man’s lap.
Permit if thou I would pluck
Lanka from its roots in earth
And place it at the feet of Ram.
Either way it helps thee meet
Man thine who is in thy wait.
Be that as it may thy man
Is all set to rescue thee.
Choose if thou to come with me
Cuts that short thy separation.
Make up thy mind Rama’s wife
Leave thus thou this Ravan’s den.
Rest as thou on my strong back
Fly I would at Mach two speed.
Thee as I fly back to Ram
None of Ravan’s could catch up.
Came as I here in flicker
Won’t we slip back in whisker?
Amused at what Hanuman said
Spoke then Seetha to him thus:
With due respect to thyself
To take me over sea this wide
More it takes than simian jumps.
Tell me how with tiny frame
Thou me carry on thy back?
Words those Seetha’s naïve uttered
Made great Hanuman feel slighted.
Why to fault good Rama’s wife
For she knows not my true worth.
So thought it fit then Vayu’s son
To show her all his innate strength.
For that he then chose a spot
Which wouldn’t restrict his full growth.
Tried as she to keep up pace
Glimpse to have of his face then
Seetha at length found herself
Staring at the stars themselves.
Having shown her his prowess
Assumed normal form Hanuman.
Told he then her that he could
Fetch her forthwith to her man.
Won’t that let her cut short all
Suffering of her beloved Ram?
Splendorous Seetha then in awe
Spoke to wondrous Hanuman thus.
Seen O Hanuman with my eyes
What a mighty frame thou have!
If not for thy skill Hanuman
Know I it’s no joke to reach
Lanka across sea this vast.
Sure I feel thou fly me back
For me to reach Rama’s feet.
But on second thought I wonder
Whether I lose my self in flight.
Once in mid-air nerve I might
Lose and fall down from that height.
Then the hungry whales in seas
Won’t they make a meal of me?
Slow down if thou for my sake
Won’t that make us sitting ducks?
Gives that Ravan’s loyal men
Time to spare in catching us.
Gherao as they us mid-air
Contrive how thou to escape?
Won’t that put thy life at risk
And mine as well in mid-flight?
Fight as thee all Ravan’s men
Won’t in fright I lose balance?
Dares not one to ever engage
Thee in dogfight in high skies
But then Ravan’s men in hoards
Prevail might by hook or crook.
Engage as thou all of them
Won’t that leave me unguarded?
For vile Ravan’s men to kill
Won’t that make me easy prey?
Comes it if to such a pass
Won’t thy toil go in vain?
In spite of the odds so great
Should thou take me to my man
Won’t that leave him feel slighted?
In case Ravan gets me back
Holds me tight in no man’s land
How on earth my man gets there?
Whichever way might one may look
Seems it sound that thou might fetch
Man mine here than other way round.
Turns it if our mission failure
Won’t that put the life of Ram
As well the rest all at risk?
Hear if they soon none of me
Ram ’n Lakshman both of them
For sure embrace death in time.
Credo it’s but of my soul
Touch I never another man
Than my Rama whom I love.
Held me Ravan in kidnap
Disgust it caused all the way.
Know I well my man doth hit
Bull’s-eye every time he aims.
Enters he once battle zone
Know his arrows like sun-rays
Cease they never from his bow.
To join battle with Ravan
It’s my request O Hanuman
Fetch thou my man with Lakshman.
Canto 38 - Story to Tell
Respect with all due to her
Addressed Hanuman thus Seetha.
Surmise I can from thy words
What a woman of virtue makes.
It was not a fair offer
For the fair sex on my part
Help I them as piggyback.
Intent that thine not to touch
Someone other than thy husband
Made I know thee stay thus put.
One so chastely as Seetha
Is there ever in all three worlds!
Won’t I tell Ram in detail
Spoke thee what and all I saw.
Urge it’s mine to bring an end
To the suffering of thee both
That was at the back of mind
Offered when I thee my back.
Thought I fit to offer help
Takes as it some time for Ram
Reach to Lanka with his force.
Owing to my love for Ram
Without further loss of time
Thought I would fetch his beloved.
Canst if thou come back with me
Bestow something that soothes him.
Moved to core as Rama’s wife
Spoke with ardour to Hanuman.
Dost thou remind my man then
The story of that amorous crow.
It was during our outing
On the banks of Mandakin
Happened that in broad daylight.
Stayed we then at Siddhashram
Laid which was in thick garden.
Lay as I in Rama’s lap
Having lapped up garden path,
Got a crow at my bosom
Dropped I pallu chasing it.
Pushed as that I in dismay
Back it came to try its luck.
Lord mine witnessed that tussle
In which my breasts got exposed.
Amused by its eagerness
Teased as Ram with innuendos
Kept I blushing all the while.
Scolded him as I roundly
Me he took then in embrace
Smiled he sweetly to soothe me.
Tears that gushed then from my eyes
Streams as they made on my cheeks
Wiped them he to comfort me.
Sapped as I lay in his lap
Slumbered I for so long thus.
Woke up as I my man took
Turn his to rest on my thigh.
Finding my man in deep sleep
Back came that crow to resume
Beaked it flesh from my bosom.
Bore all as I fearing that
Gets disturbed my man in sleep
Blood in streams from my valley
Made its way to Rama’s chest.
Having woke up by its warmth
Saw my Lord then my torment.
Hurt as I was by that crow
Pearl like breasts mine turned corals.
Saw as Ram that eager crow
With its blood stained beak ’n all
Gripped was my Lord with anger.
Oh, that crow was Kakasur
Happened to be Indra’s son
Known to cover the earth and all
With the matching speed of sound.
Seeing Rama’s blood red eyes
Saw the danger Kakasur
Flew thus swiftly in panic.
Upset by the hurt it caused
To me beloved of his heart
Lost no time Ram to punish it.
Took he some reed lay nearby
Which with power of his mantra
Turned then into Brahmastra.
Chased that missile Kakasur
All the way to Indra’s place.
Even Lord of heavenly gods
Felt he could not help his son.
Back came that crow to save life
Sought he pardon from my Lord.
Though Ram came to forgive him
The weapon in use was sure to hurt.
As a way to save his life
Pleaded Kakasur with Ram
Let the damage be limited
To the right eye that he bore.
Having owed his life to Ram
Left then one-eyed Indra’s son.
Wonder how the one who used
Brahmastra on Kakasur
Fails to put the same to use
To punish the man who confines me?
Is it that Ram fails to know
Bitter would be his better half!
Having taken vow to help
All and sundry in distress
Is it fair for Ram to leave
His own one thus in the lurch?
Not the one to act in haste
Hath he patience of oceans.
Hath my suffering not tested
Patience his with vile Ravan?
Aims as he and shoots arrows
Escape none there for his foes.
If my Lord has some concern
For me forlorn spouse of his
Won’t he come to my rescue?
What of Lakshman his sibling
Moves not one inch in spite of
The loss of sister-in-law his?
Surely my Lord and Lakshman
On their own can bring to knees
Gods all there in heaven at once.
Looks like it’s my misfortune
That my Lord and his sibling
Should make no move to rescue
Me from clutches of this man.
Moved as Hanuman by lament
Of the hapless Rama’s wife
Tried he thus to cheer her up.
Swear I to the fact that Ram
Swallowed was by thy sorrow.
Now that I would head to Ram
With the tidings of our meet
Know its beginning of the end
Of thy sorrows of all hues.
For these demons to rue in time
Count on Ram to bring curtains
Down on Ravan’s Lankan stage.
It’s no big deal for Rama
To make cruel Ravan meet
His nadir with all his men.
Let me hasten to thy man
So to convey news of thine.
In spite of the hope it gave
Spoketh in teras thus Seetha.
Tell my man that I live by
Hope of making life with him.
What else can I wish for him
Rama’s dearest brother Lakshman
That he joins his wife soon
Whom he left to serve us both.
Sad it was that he gave up
Conjugal his life for long
So to take care of us both.
He is such a pet of Ram
For he is a handsome man.
Though he is my brother-in-law
Me he treats as mother no less.
If not for his loving care
In our exile in those woods
Life would have been hell for us.
Know that Rama loves Lakshman
Much more than me his own spouse.
Sees Ram their dad in Lakshman
And that helps him soothe himself.
To do the needful for my sake
Trust I would thou spur Lakshman.
Entrust I would thee the task
To goad my man to take me back.
Let my man know I wouldn’t live
Day one longer than one month.
Surely Rama can save me
From the sin of my suicide.
As a token of her love
To be passed on to her man
Gave him Seetha her diadem.
Took that Hanuman in reverence
Matched which well with ring finger.
Felt then Hanuman truly blessed
For the trust that Seetha placed.
Being in front of Seetha
Bore he Rama in his mind.
At length he came out of trance
Made he move to take her leave.
Canto 39 - Doubts to the Fore
In her new found hope Seetha
Voiced then her feelings thus:
Once Rama sees this diadem
Warmth of my love fills his heart.
It’s all left to thee Hanuman
How thou make it back to Ram.
Hope thou slip not on thy way
So that I could come out clean.
Having assured her Hanuman
Inclined was he to take leave.
Lost her nerve then Rama’s wife
Leave would Hanuman all too soon.
In the choking tone of hers
Encored she her feelings thus:
Tell O Hanuman my concern
To my man and his sibling.
Protocol by thou deem it fit
Regards mine pay to thy folk
One by one to each of them.
Feel I thou art the right one
To goad my Lord to save me true.
Fetch thou Rama for my sake
Earn thee goodwill of us both.
Like a rock thou stand by Ram
Hurricane like stir his conscience.
Roused if Ram by thee Hanuman
Know he would turn typhoon then.
Having heard thus Seetha speak
Assured Hanuman Rama’s spouse.
At the head of vanar force
In no time would land Lord Rama.
Declares as Ram war on him
Face would Ravan wrath his then.
Surely thy hurt would impart
Cutting edge to thy Lord’s wrath.
Know thy Ram is all eager
To make thee empress of this world.
At those words of Hanuman then
Pleased was Rama’s spouse no end.
Stood as he to bid adieu
Tried she thus to detain him.
Why not stay for one more day
Wish I now thou took some rest.
Presence thine in precincts these
Soothes my hard pressed mind as well.
Till thou come back with my man
Wonder whether my life would last?
Visit of thine as soared my spirits
Fear thy farewell doubles my grief.
Honest to be with thee now
Came to develop on second thought
Doubts on Sugreev’s simian force.
How can vanars ever on earth
And for that matter Ram even
Cross the seas to reach this shore?
For all I know, other than thee
God Vayu and good Garuda
Can none ever cross Lankan seas.
Be that as it may pray tell
How thou could bring vanars all
With Ram ’n Lakshman to this land.
Find if ways ’n means to take
Me back to my anxious Lord
Brings that glory none to Ram.
Regain I but my glory
Go back as I to my folk
With the standard of my Lord.
If my man ever slays Ravan
Battle great in for his spouse,
Enhance that would his prestige
As the one to contend with.
Battle in that for his spouse
For my Ram to slay Ravan
Pray thee show me script thou have.
Felt then Hanuman Seetha’s words
Worthy they all woman of note
So he addressed her nerves thus:
How thee fail to reckon Sugreev’s
Resolve to win this war for Ram?
To take on Ravan and his men
Know brings Sugreev to Lanka
Tens and thousands of vanars.
Know our vanar force excels
Man to man all Ravan’s men.
Creed it’s that of us vanars
Not to show our backs to foes.
Bears in our force in numbers
None the less than our vanars.
Deem if thou me fit and strong
Know my folk score more than me.
Came as I here all the way
For the rest all it’s child’s play.
Thus O Seetha in no time
Land would vanars in Lanka.
On my shoulders take I Ram
As well Lakshman to fly them.
Once they set foot in Lanka
Know that would end Ravan’s reign.
Perish as Ravan and his men
Take thee back would Rama home.
Lurks as Ravan’s end in corner
Come to quick end thy sufferings.
As would Ravan bite thus dust
Reach thou thy Lord as free soul.
Bound as Ravan to exit
Bid all sorrows thee adieu.
Though he felt he said it all
Resumed Hanuman on second thought.
Mark my word O Rama’s wife
Man thy would soon kill Ravan.
So to slay all Ravan’s men
Vanars know need no more than
Mere their nails ’n teeth of theirs.
Won’t the war cries of vanars
Make all Ravan’s men stone-deaf?
Piqued as by pain in groin
Caused by longing for thee long
Heat thy man turns on Ravan
Caused who thus thy separation.
Thus O Seetha be certain
Bound is Ram to take thee back.
Man as thy hath his sibling
Face to Ravan’s force in tow
What is there for thy worry?
With the end of Ravan thus
Turn thou new leaf in thy life.
Canto 40 - Repeats the Dose
Spurred as Seetha by pep talk
Spoke she then with fortitude.
Words thy no less drops of rain
Land on that so parched for long.
In the despaired heart of mine
Seed like words as sowed by thee
Seem they turned all sprouts of hope.
Ever I cherish the time I spent
With my beloved spouse Rama,
Keep in mind to remind my Lord
The tale of crow that lost its eye.
In that night-long lovemaking
Smudged as dot my vermillion
Remind my Ram that he fashioned
Dot on my cheek not forehead.
How a valorous man like Ram
Fails to wreck his vengeance on
Man who came to snare his wife?
Let him know that this diadem
Which I got at our wedding
Helps me think of him fondly.
Now that I have parted with
Let him know that have I none
Helps that to soothe my torment.
It’s the hope of meeting him
With which I bear slights all these.
Live I thirty days in hope
Fails if my Lord me by then
Left I with but no option
Than to take my life on own.
Ram if fails to come in time
With no reason to live more,
Ogles at me as Ravan
Bear I won’t his lustful look.
Sank as Seetha in sorrow
Spoke thus vanar to cheer her.
Swear I do now by thy man
Fond he is no less of thee.
Now that I traced thee at last
For the end of thy sorrows
Note the count down hath started.
As and when I let him know
Though art confined by Ravan
To land in Lanka with vanars
Wastes not Ram a second even.
Battle Royal that follows
Ensures Ram would slay Ravan.
To spur on Rama even more
Why not give me something more?
Show if thou him my diadem
To spur him on to fight for me
Need there none for something else.
Enthused by her words Hanuman
Stirred his frame to fly back home.
Grew as he in size Hanuman
In awe Seetha gazed at him.
At the prospect of his loss
Spoke to him in tears Seetha.
Tell my man ’n his sibling
Suffering am in anxiety.
How to rescue me in time
Counsel Rama O Hanuman.
Fare thee well O dear vanar
Know I wish thee bon voyage.
To journey back to Kishkindha
All set Hanuman to leave her.
Canto 41 - Rampage in the Park
Bid as adieu Hanuman soon
Exuded warmth Seetha then.
As he left her felt Hanuman –
Were I to fail to probe Lanka
Won’t my trip be incomplete?
How to test the guys all these
Than ride roughshod over them?
Were I to slay a few Generals
Won’t that weaken Ravan’s force?
Found as I now Rama’s wife
What if I dent Ravan’s pride?
Why not eyes ’n ears I keep
Wide open for task on hand?
Why fail assess relative strength
Of Ravan’s men and us vanars?
Better I invite Ravan’s wrath
That he lets loose kinkar force.
Battle as I palace guards
Chance it gives to test their strength.
Oh, this garden of gardens
Could be dear to evil Ravan.
Were I to arson this garden
Spits fire enraged Ravan then.
Won’t he send his elite force
Alive or dead to take me soon?
Won’t I take on all of them
On my own in their own land?
All those high and mighty trees
Hurricane like then Hanuman mowed.
Bulldozed as he his way through
Birds there perched all lost their nests.
Set he as the place on fire
Seemed that like huge funeral pyre.
Birds there flew to save their lives
Sounds they made then reached the skies.
Fire as raged there thick and fast
Cried wildlife there then thus trapped.
Soon the scene turned inferno
Came dwellings all crumbling down.
Turned in no time burning coal
Garden meant for queens to cool.
Hanuman in all eagerness
Waited to take Ravan’s men
Expected to confront him.
Canto 42 - Panic in the Town
To the sound of falling trees
Woke up Lanka from siesta.
Cried as flying birds all then
Cuddled all Lankans in panic.
Reached as tongues of flame to skies
Rushed out Lankans from their homes.
So to put the fear of death
In them into giant he turned.
Ran to Seetha women in fright
Hoping that she throws some light.
Tell us Seetha what thee know
Why this fiend did came to us?
Fear thee have none to tell us
What was that he spoke to thee?
Playing her cards close to chest
Countered Seetha them all thus:
How can thee ever expect me
Privy to thy demonic tricks?
Find as serpents their kindred
Thou should know him from his ways?
If thou let me I surmise
Demon some could be on roll now.
Ran as some to Ravan then
Went round some to see debris.
Appraised Lankans then Ravan
About the fiend that came to town.
O Lord Ravan came vanar
With whom Seetha spoke for long.
Pressed as we her long ’n hard
Preferred she not to divulge things.
It’s quite likely that vanar
Is one sent by her own man.
Garden that is Lanka’s pride
That is after thine own heart
Razed that vanar to the ground.
In spite of the fire he set
Sits as Seetha though unfazed,
What else it’s but his miracle
Touch her none those tongues of fire?
Clearly it was his intent
To see that Seetha was not hurt.
Sits still Seetha in cool shade
Right under the tree thus spared.
That he conferred with Seetha
And caused arson in thy land
Feel that fiend hath doubly sinned.
Thus we feel O Lankan king
Spare thou must not that simian.
Words those uttered by his folk
Made then Ravan fume in rage.
Scorch as if to all three worlds
Burned he like the mid-day sun.
To restrain vanar on rampage
Committed Ravan his panzers.
Eighty thousand strong it was
Force he sent to take Hanuman.
On their way to pin him down
Armed they all were to the teeth.
Went they all to have a go
As if to keep date with death.
Came as he in striking range
Spears they threw all at him sharp.
Closed in they all soon on him
With their swords ’n clubs as well.
Itching for a fight with them
Hit the ground with tail Hanuman.
Grew then Hanuman all the more
Slapped he arms his to scare them.
Sound that traversed to high skies
Made birds drop dead in their scores.
* Invoking Ram ’n Lakshman
As well vanar Lord Sugreev,
Laid who store on Lord Rama
Thundered Hanuman at them thus:
Hanuman I’m Vayu’s son
Privileged to serve mighty Ram
Lord of Koshal land there yore,
None him in this world equals
Sent by him am errand boy
Smash I would now all thy heads.
Ravans in their scores even
Match me not in battle skills,
Slabs ’n trees are all I need
For razing Lanka to the ground.
Watch as thou in wonderment
Find I Seetha unhindered
Leave then Lanka blessed by her. *
* these verses are revered the most by the devout.
In the face of Hanuman then
Saw there Ravan’s men nadir.
Being loyal to their Lord
Battle yet they gave Hanuman.
Unarmed as he flew in there
For use as his makeshift club
Pulled he latch of Lanka’s gates.
With that latch so thick and strong
Amuck he ran then amidst his foes.
In times yore as Indra did
Slew then Hanuman them in scores.
Scanned he then the battleground
To take on them who stood the ground.
Managed who then to escape
Ran to Ravan with that news.
Slighting that as storm in teacup
So to throw the book at Hanuman
Sent then Ravan Prahastha’s son.
Canto 43 -Itching for Fight
None there left to give battle
Prahastha’s son as not yet reached
Thought of future course Hanuman.
Thought he fit to despoil
Hill like palace found therein
Used for funeral pyres to lay.
Up the golden roof of it
Hop step and jump he went.
Perched on top of that terrace
Seemed he rivalled sun in skies.
Saw all those him stand up there
Wondered how he reached those heights.
Grew he so tall that he touched
Skyscape that was filled with clouds.
Slapped afresh he arms his strong
Sound that made the guards all there
Lose their consciousness en masse.
Prayed he Ram ’n Lakshman too
Invoked he Lord Sugreev’s grace.
Gaped as all those guards at him
Addressed Hanuman them all thus:
Come may Ravans in thousands
Won’t I mincemeat make them all.
Over thy dead bodies now
Go and I see Rama’s spouse.
So to unnerve them further
Roared he like thunderbolt.
Provoked by the daring of
Intruder who challenged them
Rose to one man guards all there
So to subdue who snubbed them.
Arrayed Ravan’s guards well built
Aimed they allied weapons at him.
Around the vanar thus they trapped
Whirlpool like look had those guards.
Enraged by their act Hanuman
Pulled he pillar of huge girth
Of that structure of sky high.
Like a rod he twirled it long
To ward off weapons they threw at him.
Sparks of friction emanated then
Burnt that place all far and wide.
Spoke thus Hanuman to those few
Survived then his great onslaught.
Force ours realize hath thousands
Match who would me bone to bone.
Know they all to smash thy heads
Land would soon on Lankan shores.
Know a weakling of vanar
Equals elephants ten no less.
Prowess elite force ours hath
Such is that thou can’t figure out.
Witness how all vanars would
Come to kill thee with their nails.
It’s thy ill fate that thy Lord
Snaring Seetha to thy land
Invited Ram’s wrath on thee
Hapless subjects of his State.
Canto 44 -Takes on Prahastha’s Son
Sent as he was by Ravan
In time garden gate Prahastha’s
Son had reached to slay Hanuman
Who by then came back to post.
Came thus Hanuman face to face
With Jambumali that Prahastha’s son,
Savage fiend that slain all dared
Feared thus most the world over.
Bow his rivalled Indra’s own
Sent shivers it down enemies spines.
Strung as he the string to test
Of his bow to serve his cause
Echoed its sound in high skies.
Driven in cart of four donkeys
Came as Prahastha’s son near him
Greeted Hanuman him in scorn
Slapping hard his own thighs then.
Jambumali then lost no time
Aimed he arrows sharp at him.
Missed no arrow its target
Tip to toe was hurt Hanuman.
Bloodied face of Hanuman then
Looked like flowering rose at dawn.
Hurt by arrows in their scores
Mouth of Hanuman’s coral red
Looked like lotus in full bloom.
So to launch a blitzkrieg on
Prahastha’s son by Ravan sent
Picked up some slab then Hanuman.
What he hurled at Prahastha’s son
Turned that then to pebbles latter.
Enraged Hanuman plucked a tree
And javelined hard at Jambumali.
Aimed his arrows Prahastha’s son
Tree that just left Hanuman’s hands.
Prowess such was Jambumali’s
Shot he arrows in their scores
Missed none of them its target
Chipped to firewood tree all that.
With the shield of tree thus lost
To body blows of Prahastha’s son
Laid bare then all Hanuman frame.
Hanuman pulled a door latch then
Leapt he thus at Prahastha’s son.
Hit then Hanuman with that latch
Chest of Prahastha’s son that strong.
Blow that Hanuman dealt was such
Broke all bones of fiend that strong.
Battered as by Hanuman then
Lay dead Ravan’s chosen one.
Heard as breaking news Ravan
Of the death of Prahastha’s son
Went he into rare frenzy.
So to bring to book Hanuman
Sent Ravan for seven Marshals
Heirs apparent of secretaries
Seven of his who served him right.
Canto 45 - Marshals in the Mire
Like the balls of fearsome fire
Forthwith set out seven Marshals.
Famous for their fighting skills
Went thy all for Hanuman’s scalp.
Drawn by horses that were swift
Chariots theirs were made of gold.
Bows theirs were all gold plated
Quivers of theirs were made of gems.
Enraged they all at the thought
Scores of Lankans lost their lives
In their own land at alien hands.
At the head of their force then
Attack they led all from the front.
Like the darts of pouring rain
Sent they arrows in their scores.
In the midst of that downpour
Stood then Hanuman like a rock.
Rose as Hanuman to high skies
Made he null and void those
Arrows thus they aimed at him.
Battled as he them from skies
Seemed he rainbow well therein.
Thundered as he from high skies
Shivered demons all there gathered.
So to make all those Marshals
Bite the dust in battle dress
Needed Hanuman just bare fist.
By the scare thus caused by him
Demons all in scores then and there
Died of stroke by awe they felt.
Those all at the fringes then
Retreated to save their skin.
Looked the battlefield in time
Like the burial ground to brim.
Formed as canals blood by then
Flowed with force to hinterland.
Seeing backs of fleeing ranks
Stood well Hanuman to take on
Fresh forays of Lankan force
Ordained by king Ravan next.
Canto 46 - Generals in the Dumps
Pondered Ravan death over
Chosen ones all in their scores.
Thought he then it fit to send
Four star Generals to take on
Vanar that was hard to beat.
Chose he Durdhar and his ilk
Wage who war with lightning speed.
Said Ravan to his Generals
Wise it’s not to take chances
With that vanar on rampage.
Use all thy wile to ensnare
Him to bring thus to me live.
That he could slay best of us
Makes him mighty foe no less.
For the havoc he had wrought
Reckon I not him mere vanar.
Seems Indra with all his guile
Shaped this simian our equal.
Subdued as we for him long
Sense it makes to expect that
Try he might to hurt us thus.
Need thou tackle this vanar
With but joint move by thee.
Seems he ghost by Indra sent
Doubt have I none in my mind.
Know I Vali and his tribe
Give who can a hearty fight.
Yet they make no patch on this
Simian shaped by Indra’s wile.
Looks he like a superman
Out to test our demonic strength.
All of thee though severally
Could win over this simian
Wisdom lies to take on him
With the combined strength of thine.
Pays regardless though to press
One shouldn’t fail to guard his flanks.
Spurred on thus by king Ravan
Pressed his Generals to the front.
Seemed it as an exodus
Led as they their force varied.
Came they face to face in time
To face thus Hanuman lay in wait.
So that they could surprise him
Pounced they all at once on him.
With no let the five all fought
With their lightning arms to boot.
First to hit him was Durdhar
With his arrows five so sharp
Managed which all but to scratch
Frame that giant of Hanuman then.
Took that Hanuman as affront
Turned he skyward to confront.
So to engage in dogfight
Made chariot his then Durdhar
Airborne like a fighter jet
Wind as toys with clouds all
Arrows all those of Durdhar
Managed Hanuman to scatter.
Durdhar’s job to make difficult
Grew then Hanuman further more.
In time from high skies Hanuman
Landed straight on Durdhar’s cart.
Crushed as Durdhar therein lay
Saucer turned his chariot huge.
With the fall of Durdhar thus
Crushed he couple of more Generals.
Not to give up Ravan’s men
Hit all Hanuman in tandem
With their maces on his chest.
Withstood he then their assault
With no more than his bare first.
Enraged in the end Hanuman
Plucked a tree large lay thereby
With which he felled Ravan’s men.
With the death of his peers thus
Took on Hanuman Praghana then.
Bhasakarna too joined hands
So to aid then Praghana’s cause.
Threw as Praghana at Hanuman
Sword his sharp with all his strength
Bhasakarna sent lance his long.
Bled his body head to foot
Hurt as Hanuman by them both.
Plucked then Hanuman some hillock
With which he crushed them to bones.
Having killed all five Generals
Slain he then the entire force.
In his fury then Hanuman
Looked like Indra on rampage.
Littered by the corpses then
Graveyard looked the battlefield.
Amidst the ruins of Ravan’s hopes
Stood like colossus Hanuman then.
Canto 47 - Akshay’s Life on Line
Heard as all of Durdhar’s fall
Akshay truly itched for fight.
Fell as Ravan’s eyes on him
Bowed his son with golden bow.
In his chariot made of gold
Rode as Akshay to Hanuman
Seemed he like the sun on move.
Wind God it beats at his game
Akshay’s chariot drawn by eight.
Custom built in heaven itself
Outmaneuvers it all on earth.
Battles as he from that frame
None can ever face Akshay then.
With such battle guard Akshay
Went to confront Hanuman then.
Like the lion on hunt Akshay
Looked at Hanuman as his prey.
Having met his match Akshay
Felt eager to fight Hanuman.
To tease the vanar to fight him
Shot Akshay then three arrows.
Failed as they to hurt his foe
Saw the fight on hand Akshay.
Hanuman too then came to see
Makes Akshay hard nut to crack.
Raged as battle between them
Stopped all worlds to witness that.
Bull’s eye hit those arrows three
Aimed by Akshay at Hanuman’s
Head that he held ever so high.
Blood as spilled on his frame thus
Made him seem the morning sun.
Enthused by the fight on hand
Enhanced his frame then Hanuman.
So to account his foe’s affront
Destroyed vanar Akshay’s force.
Angered at that Akshay then
Aimed arrows in scores at him,
Akin that was to downpour
Of monsoon on mountain then.
Prowess at such of Akshay
Shouted Hanuman his salute.
Went as the praise to his head
Taunted Akshay Hanuman then
To fight the one whom angels dread.
Hurt though he was by arrows
Sent in rows by Akshay’s bow
To take then on the daring youth
Jumped up Hanuman high in skies.
With no respite to Hanuman
Aiming arrows thick and fast
As would hailstorm hill terrain
Chased him all the way Akshay.
With his lightning reflexes
Escaped arrows all Hanuman.
Taking Akshay’s tender youth
Though he was no babe at arms
Felt like sparing him Hanuman.
But then Akshay was intent
To take the vanar his captive.
Matchless prowess of Akshay
Made the son of Vayu think
Youth he was not meant to die.
Lad this Ravan’s on his own
Could bring gods ’n angels too
Knees on to theirs in battles.
Battle that’s on hand I now
Looks he’s gaining upper hand.
Fail if I now to confine him
Shame me he would in no time.
No way out for me but now
Than slay Akshay Ravan’s son.
Killed as prelude then Hanuman
Stallions eight of Akshay’s cart.
Broke as Hanuman his vehicle
Hors de combat turned Akshay.
Not the one to get daunted
Kept up tempo still Akshay.
Eagle as an would have its prey
Took hold Akshay’s legs Hanuman.
Handled Hanuman then Akshay
Washerwoman would as garments
On some stone by waterside.
With the impact that it took
Akshay’s frame there lay tattered.
With the fall of Akshay thus
Even Indra felt surprised.
To slay more of Ravan’s men
Lay then Hanuman there in wait.
Canto 48 - It takes Indrajit
Aggrieved as by Akshay’s death
Thought then Ravan of sending
Son his eldest who subdued
Indra himself in battle.
Addressed Ravan his eldest
Who could invoke that mantra
To make his arrow Brahmastra
And thus stun foes formidable.
With thy prowess at battle
Beat thou all in battlefield.
With thy mystic powers and all
None can harm thee in combat.
Is there any in all three worlds
Hath who not heard of thy fame.
In the art of waging war
Thou I know are my equal.
At the hands of this vanar
Dared who challenge Lanka’s might
Warriors in their thous did die
With the Generals at their head.
Wonder how did our Akshay
In spite of his combat skills
Come a cropper with vanar!
Wise it not to take him light
Saw who end of young Akshay
And such veterans from our ranks
Won’t thy sight in battlefield
Scare the mighty of all worlds.
Wiped as vanar our panzers
Akshay ’n the five Generals
Not to speak of seven Marshals
Makes it no sense to expose
More of our men to the same.
Using arms of thine varied
Use there none to waste thy time
Looks like none but Brahmastra
Could take care of this vanar.
For the dharma of the land
Won’t let rulers fight the foes
Having men to fill that role
Constrained am I to send thee.
Takes as one the battlefield
Killer instinct he should have.
Ravan’s son then Indrajit
Rose to greet his revered dad.
Praised by all there to one man
Felt then Ravan’s son enthused.
On his errand Indrajit
Seemed like tidal wave on move.
Got he onto his chariot
Drawn by roaring lions all four.
With no further loss of time
Reached straight Indrajit target.
From his aura knew vanar
It was none but Indrajit
And that he had fight on hand.
Posited himself Indrajit
To take the vanar in his stride.
With the dust the lions did kick
Filled was entire space in skies.
So to watch how Vayu’s son
Takes on one who subdued them
With their fingers crossed in awe
Watched all gods there from high skies.
Sight at that of Indrajit
Itched then vanar to engage
Him in single combat who
Done in Indra Lord of gods.
Tested Indrajit his bow
Sound it made like thunderbolt.
In time Hanuman found himself
Engaged at war of his life.
As a ploy to stall his foe
Fought him Hanuman from the skies.
To make Hanuman his target
Sent Ravan’s son such arrows
Wings which had to cruise in air.
Swift as Hanuman in escape
Arrows all those got past him.
Sparred with some more Indrajit
Managed Hanuman to thwart them.
As though to tease Indrajit
Neared as Hanuman ever so close
Shot then Ravan’s son arrows
With such aim to hit bull’s-eye
But swift as Hanuman in mid-air
Kept he ever thus out of range.
Sight all this made exciting
For all those who came to watch them.
Hanuman then was all at sea
How to conquer Ravan’s son,
Latter too seemed have no clue
How to tackle foe his strange.
Worried all looked Indrajit
For his failure to bring down
Foe of Lanka with his skills.
Realized Indrajit at length
Hard it was to slay Hanuman.
So he thought it fit to use
Brahmastra to stun Hanuman.
Invoked Indrajit Brahma
Powers he arrow of his sharp
To stun Hanuman out of wits.
With the power of Brahmastra
Lay then Hanuman unconscious.
Hanuman by the blessings of
Brahma his own grandfather
In time regained consciousness.
Having realized Ravan’s son
Tied him with the Brahmastra
Recalled Hanuman boon he got
From Brahma to safeguard him.
How were Indrajit to know
Made me Brahma exempt from
Mantra invoked in his name?
Aware got he unshackled
From the grip of Brahmastra
Thought he fit to lay low then
Out of respect for the Lord
Brahma who gave birth to his
Father Vayu rules who skies.
Feared not Hanuman Indrajit
Blessed as he was by Brahma.
Taken he would be captive
All too well then Hanuman knew.
Feigned as Hanuman in coma
Sent men Ravan’s son to him.
Chose as he to turn captive
Lost no time then Ravan’s men
To tie his frame then tip to toe.
Wanting then to meet Ravan
Hanuman bore the insults all
Thrown at him by Lankans then.
Soon as Lankans tied vanar
With ropes made of strong coir
Eased out its force Brahmastra.
Realized Indrajit in time
Foolishness it was to use
Ropes to augment Brahmastra.
At loss was thus Indrajit
How to tackle Hanuman then
Got who freed from Brahmastra.
Pricked as Lankans all the way
Kept mum Hanuman in the hope
Led he would be to Ravan.
Let thus Hanuman to take him
Though he could have freed himself.
In time to the Lankan court
Brought was Hanuman tied in ropes.
Took a hard look Ravan then
At that vanar who looked strong.
In whispers then Ravan’s court
Wondered at the developments.
Angered were all those nobles
Slew that he their kith and kin,
Soon as they saw Hanuman thus
Brayed all they for blood of his.
At the sight of Ravan’s court
The like of which he never saw
Wondered Hanuman for his part.
Ravan as he saw Hanuman
Pushed ’n prodded by his guards
Seemed too nonplussed as it were.
Espied as he thus Ravan
Had who aura of but God
Stunned no end was Hanuman then.
Lost as Ravan his cool soon
Wanted he to go to roots,
Bid he thus his men enquire
How come Hanuman did trespass.
Council as then questioned him
Declared Hanuman that he came
Sent by vanar Lord Sugreev
On an errand of import.
Canto 49 - Ravan’s Darbar
Stared as Ravan in dismay
Looked at him in awe Hanuman.
Studded as it with rare diamonds
Had king Ravan crown of crowns.
Garments Ravan wore were silk
Ornaments on him all were gold.
Frills to its his dress scented
Smeared with ash was his forehead.
Eyes of his so wide and sharp
Turned they red by his rage then.
Heads he sported ten in all
Seemed they all but as if one.
Wore as myriad chains of gems
Dangled which on his bare chest,
Made they rays of mid-day sun
Peeping out of thick dark clouds.
Epaulets he wore seemed to crown
Hands his both so strong and long.
Sat thus Ravan on his throne
Had that for seat smooth carpet.
Posited as he on high throne
Fanned him damsels for comfort.
With their advice to render
On call were his secretaries.
In the midst of those gathered
Seemed he island in high seas.
Ravan in his darbar seem
As though Indra held his court.
Stood then Hanuman gaping at
Ravan at his splendorous best.
Though the pain of confinement
Made him feel thus out of sorts
Sight of Ravan made Hanuman
Stare at him in wonderment.
Bowled over by Ravan’s charm
Thought over then Hanuman thus:
Can there be a king on earth
Better who can the Ravan Great?
Were he not to foul dharma
Is he not the one to rule
In his right the heaven as well.
But that he is perverted
World all made to pay the price.
Were Ravan to set his mind
To destroy earth and heaven itself
Power he seems to have for that.
Canto 50 - Cause of Loss
Seeing Hanuman unshaken
Smitten was Ravan by doubts then.
Wondered Ravan if bull god
Cursed him when he shook Kailash
Came in disguise to harm thus.
Or could he be that Banasur
Came in form of this vanar?
Clueless as was Ravan then
Prahastha he then addressed thus:
Wish I Prahastha thee find out
Wherefore came this simian fiend,
What was at his back of mind
Spoiled when he our garden?
Trespass why did he Lanka
Made him what to give us fight?
Assured Prahastha then vanar
Harm him none would in Lanka.
Promised he then safe passage
To trespasser there thus lay trapped.
Have thou come to spy on us
Sent by gods from heaven itself?
Clear it’s all from thy valour
That thou art no mean vanar.
Mince no words ’n bare the truth
That we could thee free forthwith.
If thou try to sidetrack us
Know that will be at thy risk.
Hanuman in turn told Ravan
That his trip had none to do
With the gods that Lankans scorned.
Am I from the vanar ranks
Came to see thee king Ravan.
Spoiled I know thy garden
That thy guards would usher me
To thy court O Lankan king.
Came as thy guards to kill me
Slain them just to save my life.
Stunned as Indrajit me then
With the aid of Brahmastra,
Blessed as I was by Brahma
Came I soon out of its spell.
On my own I came to thee
None as ever would contain me.
Know me as the one sent by
Rama to make truce with thee.
Canto 51 - Advice to Deliver
Unnerved continued Hanuman
With Ravan who scared all gods.
Wishes Sugreev thou all well
With the message that follows.
Help as it would thee all now
Heed thee advice of my Lord.
Dasarath was a godly king
Fame he earned for rule his fair.
Son his eldest Lord Rama
So to honour his dad’s word
Gave up lawful right on crown.
For the help his wife the third
Rendered him in some battle
Gave word Dasarath to her then
Honour bound he would be to
Fulfill wishes three of hers,
Came when time to crown Rama
Sought as she crown for her son
Went Ram with his spouse Seetha
In tow with his brother Lakshman
To Dandak woods on exile then.
Janaka’s daughter that worthy
Woman that wed first Dasarath’s son
Kidnapped was she from those woods.
With his sibling Lord Rama
Went on searching for Seetha.
Came he soon to Kishkindha
Made he pact with Sugreeva.
Vow as per his Lord Rama
Slew the sibling of Sugreev
Vali who stole wife of his.
Vali’s valour world all knows
Felled him but Ram at one go.
Got as Sugreev Vanar Crown
Besides hand of Vali’s wife
Apart from his stolen one
So to keep the word he gave
To Lord Ram to find Seetha
Sent he vanars in their scores
Covering earth and heaven as well.
Find thou in the vanar ranks
Valorous all in their thousands
Conquer who could on their own
Worlds all three there at one go.
It’s me Hanuman, Vayu’ son
Flew the sea of hundred leagues
To reach Lanka in search of
Seetha kidnapped wife of Ram.
Scanned I Lanka’s width ’n breadth
Found I Seetha in the end.
O well learned king Ravan
Is it fair for thee confine
Wife of another in thy land?
It’s no dharma for the king
Breaks he rules of humankind.
Bodes it ill for all thy folk
That thee annoy Ram and his
Sibling who could destroy all
And sundry as well at their will.
For thine unfairness to Ram
In snaring loving spouse of his
Sure to rue thy citizens all.
Send back Seetha to her man
Pray heed advice of this mine
Given in keeping thy interest.
Fail thou heed my Lord’s advice
Found as I now in thy land
Seetha faithful wife of Ram
Rest of it is left to him
How to book thee for thy foul.
Being such a learned king
Wonder how thou fail to know
Seetha would prove thee costly.
Pays it to know Rama’s wife
Is not the one to get seduced
By the vile of devil itself.
May thou live for ever so long
Boon thou got from God Himself
Fail if thee to mend thy ways
Sure thou soon would come to grief.
Know the rider that God put
For thee to keep death at bay
Is on hand to see thy end.
In battles all with gods and such
Boon hath it that come thou clean.
It’s thy fate that failed thee true
To seek no harm from men and us,
It’s thus Ram and we vanars
Bring would thy end in combat.
Lay not as knives two in sheath
So’s the case with good and bad.
Blessed as gods thee for good deeds
Punish they would now for foul acts.
How thou fail to see writing
On the wall when Seetha’s man
Could slay Vali thy equal!
Rama if were to give nod
For that matter I would now
Sink thy Lanka in the seas.
Tied are my hands for Rama
Vowed he would slay well in time
Hands with his own who that dared
Kidnap his dear spouse Seetha.
Spare would Rama not even
Indra were to harm his cause,
What would come of folk like thee
Were they to cross swords with him?
Know Seetha thou here confine
Would cause curtains to come down
On the Lankan stage of thine.
She’s like the hangman’s rope
Brought by thyself to Lanka
On thine own to hang thyself.
With her power of chariness
Burn as well she might thy land.
Why drag down them all of them
Hordes of wives and thy siblings.
O Ravan the Lankan king
Heed thee advice of Sugreev.
Know Ram is no mere mortal
Power hath he to destroy all
Exists whatever in three worlds
And bring life back onto earth.
In all races of worlds all
None there equals him as man.
Makes it’s no joke to join
Battle with the god in him.
That thou hurt the god on earth
Hope there none for thee in life.
In their bid to save thy life
All three worlds if ever combine
Yet Ram would make bite thee dust.
Destined if were one to die
At the hands of Seetha’s man
Gods themselves know wash their hands.
Treating Hanuman’s words ranting
Lost his cool then Lankan king.
Canto 52 -Placates the Sibling
In rage Ravan then ordered
Hanuman be to put to death.
Stood up Vibhishan in dismay
The sibling fair of Lankan king.
To stall the folly of the court
Pleaded Vibhishan with Ravan.
To set Ravan in right frame
Praised his sibling him to skies.
Heed me learned king Ravan
Fair it’s none to kill Hanuman.
Kill if we one on errand
Don’t all we earn infamy?
Remind none thee O learned
It’s not how the king should act.
Swayed if thou by thine anger
What would come of thy learning?
Thus O Ravan unrivalled
Better be prudent in thy act.
Words at these of his sibling
Hissed in anger then Ravan.
The way he acted mala fide
It’s no ill to kill Hanuman.
Would not let go Vibhishan
Ravan on the path that’s wrong.
Won’t thee realize O learned
It’s no dharma to kill one
Brings that missive from rivals?
Brief it’s not mine to plead for
Life of one who harmed us all
But to keep up thy fair name
Deal thou with him as ordained.
Severe a limb or lash him well
That’s the way to deal with him.
It’s not wise to act in haste
Calm down so my great sibling.
Is there any better than thee
Knows who dharma in theory
Nuances as well in practice?
Valour with thine unrivalled
Conquer did thou all three worlds.
High such being thy position
Why let act such lower that?
Uphold honour of Lanka
Not by killing this vanar
But by slaying Ram who sent
Him to act in foul manner.
How this vanar on errand
Could have acted on his own
Without the goading of his Lord?
Were he to be freed by thee
Fetch he would then his masters
Itching to land on our shores
For thee to see the end of them.
Falls if Rama at thy feet
Bites as and when he the dust
It’s then but gods would realize
How thou made all cowards of them.
With thy penchant to conquer
Were thee to slay this vanar now
Would thou lose the chance of life
To slay that Ram ’n Lakshman too
For they fail to come to know
Made thou captive Seetha thus.
To slay vanar hordes are all
Itching are our men at arms,
Slay if thee but one vanar
Won’t thou deprive them their chance?
So to let our foes to know
To face us death is no less scared
Force we may all foes to show
Backs of theirs in battlefield.
Takes it no more than a score
Of our men to settle all scores
With Ram ’n Lakshman if they dare
Ever to set foot on our shores.
Averred as thus his own sibling
Changed his mind then king Ravan
To kill Hanuman lay there tied.
Canto 53 - Tail on Fire
Sibling as his stood so firm
Spoke then Ravan changing tune.
Spare as we may life of him
Let him not go scot-free now.
Pride as vanars at their tails
Set his tail on fire that hurts.
Goes as he back with burnt tail
Makes a scene to folk back home.
Burns as his tail like a log
Take this vanar round boulevards.
Having led him out of court
Set the palace guards all there
Rags to tie on Hanuman’s tail.
Worked as guards on tail his long
Turned it Hanuman like tree trunk.
Pouring oil then on rags
Set they tail of his on fire.
Gathered in time Lankans all
To see Hanuman’s tail on fire.
Though he could have freed himself
Bore that Hanuman thus in thought.
Escape that I this ordeal
It’s not for me such big deal.
Isn’t it the trouble they give
Fraction of the hurt I caused?
Can’t I on my own tackle
All these Ravan’s men at arms?
Bear I should well this ordeal
For the sake of my Lord Ram.
Roamed I though the town at night
Failed I would have to grasp well
The ins and outs of its layout.
Now that they would take me round
Through their streets in broad daylight
Chance I would have to assess
Strengths and weakness of the foe.
Falling as well in his trap
Led him Ravan’s men in chains
Through the streets of Lanka then.
Gloating over their success
Made they Hanuman their trophy.
Unmindful of burning tail
Scanned all Hanuman as he moved.
Saw he dumps of ammos large
Found he bunkers there well manned.
Buildings he found camouflaged
Tunnels which had underground.
As they taunted him a spy
Smiled to himself then Hanuman.
So to see his tail on fire
Came out Lankans then in droves.
Carried some then to Seetha
Tale of vanar’s burning tail.
For so long all in undertones
He’s the one with whom thee spake.
Hurt was Seetha by that news
Prayed she Agni to spare him.
Submit she did to Fire God
That he might save Hanuman then.
Deem if thou me true to Ram
Spare then Hanuman from thy heat.
Goodwill of gods if I earned
For my goodness to mankind
Be kind now to this Hanuman.
If Ram feels that I do yearn
For the embrace of his warmth
Pray go cool on Hanuman now.
Feel if thee that Lord Sugreev
Could help Rama take me out
From the darkness of Lanka
Pray thee comfort give Hanuman.
Lost no time then God of Fire
From his heat to spare Hanuman.
Blew then Vayu his father
Icy breeze to cool Hanuman.
Wondered Hanuman how it was
Rags though on his tail on fire
Yet he felt no heat as such.
Tail as mine as thus burning
None I feel the pain for that!
For the soothing feel I have
Lay the reason somewhere else.
For the sake of Rama’s cause
Didn’t Mainaka offer seat
For me to rest on his peak?
Likewise Agni should’ve thought
Fits it Rama’s cause like glove
Were he to leave me unscathed.
Might I as well owe all this
To the kindness of Lord Rama
And his faithful spouse Seetha.
Or else Agni being friend
Of my father Vayu wind
Would have spared me this ordeal.
Knowing am on Ram’s errand
Gave as affront folks all these
So to keep up his prestige
And to make them well realize
That they played all but with fire
Won’t I pay them in same coin?
Houdini made as he then
Went he roaring up in skies.
With his burning tail and all
Landed then on Lankan gates.
Assumed simian form Hanuman
Slipped he through the chains on him.
Grew he then back into giant
Looked he all the while for mace.
Picked he latch of that huge gate
Slew he all the guards he faced.
Having none to restrain him
With his burning tail Hanuman
Shone he like the mid-day sun.
Canto 54 - Arson to Hurt
Having had his way thus far
Thought of future course Hanuman.
Why not I give them in kind
For what they did all to my tail?
Much is left to hurt the foe
Caused I might have some damage.
Why not I torch Ravan’s town
With the help of tail mine
That they set on fire themselves?
For the favour of Agni
Make I Lanka his fodder.
Hovered as he in mid-air
Surveyed Ravan’s land he thus.
Landed then on some dwelling
Jumped he then from one another.
Chose he Prahastha’s own palace
With its sprawling compound then
And made he bonfire of all there.
Next in line was Mahaparsva’s
Mansion that met similar fate.
Not to content even then
Burnt he dwellings of nobles.
Leaned he then on that palace
Owned by one who subdued him.
Set he fire then one by one
Houses of the following.
Jambumali’s ’n Sumali’s
Rasmiketha’s ’n Suryasathru’s
Damstra’s ’n so Duraatma’s
Romasa’s ’n Ghora’s as well
Mattali’s besides Yuddhonmatha’s
Karala’s and Pisaachas’s too.
Kumbha’s as well Nikumbha’s
Yagnasatru’s ’n Brahmasatru’s
Not to speak of Kumbhakarna’s.
But spared Hanuman that dwelling
Lived where Vibhishan who pleaded
Case his then in Ravan’s Court.
Razed as fire in those places
Turned all therein to ashes.
Went he then to that courtyard
Where lived Lankan king Ravan.
Set he Ravan’s fort on fire
With the fading flame on tail.
Spread as fire in Ravan’s court
Thundered Hanuman even more.
As if to aid his son’s cause
Unleashed Vayu his frenzy.
Goaded thus by Hanuman’s dad
Spread tongues Agni far and wide.
In that towering inferno
Came all dwellings crashing down.
Looked then Lanka that lost soul
Thrown down from the heaven itself.
Lost their wits all then Lankans
Felt they Fire God turned vanar.
Filled all streets were with Lankans
Rent were skies there with their cries.
Jumped all over compound
From the debris of dwellings
Flowed then molten gold in streams.
Turned to ashes demonic frames
Turned grey landscape of Lanka.
In myriad shades of crimson red
Sprouted tongues of fire to skies.
Burning Lanka seemed as if
Tripura of yore Shankar burnt.
To bring Lanka to its knees
Moved then Hanuman to outskirts.
With still burning tail of his
Set fire Hanuman there dwellings.
Raged as fire in those buildings
Heard all bursting sounds from them.
Smoke that embers emitted then
Rose in columns to high skies.
Wondered all those who survived
Came if death in Hanuman’s form.
Brahma’s it was wrath felt some
Set what Hanuman to smash them.
Took some Hanuman for Vishnu’s
Avatar to end Ravan’s reign.
It’s in no time fire got spread
To nearby jungles all so deep.
Trapped as such in jungle fire
Died wildlife of forests there.
Rent was air with cries of all
Lost who then their kith and kin.
With the havoc that he caused
Lanka seemed an accursed land.
Climbed up Chitrakoot Hanuman
Surveyed Ravan’s land ravaged.
Felt glad Hanuman that Lanka
Lost its edge to fight Lord Ram.
Tail as his was still on fire
Looked he still the rising sun.
Having done his job Hanuman
Prayed he in all reverence Ram.
Gods all for his one-man show
Showered then praises on Hanuman.
Amidst the ruins of Lanka then
Stood like victor there Hanuman.
Felt on second thought gods all there
What they discerned was but dream,
For how could Hanuman on his own
Raze all Lanka at one go!
At the sight of Lanka thus
Rubbed all angels then their eyes,
At the havoc Hanuman caused
Worlds all trembled then dismayed.
Sages at that in their scores
As well angels there gathered
Not to speak of Yakshas then
Thought it augured well for world.
Canto 55 - What of Seetha?
Died as embers in Lanka
So to quench his burning tail
Went upto beach then Hanuman.
Cooled as he tail by seashore
Felt then Hanuman thus in qualms.
Have I gone wrong by burning
Lanka to the last dwelling?
Was it all wrong on my part
Lost I bearing in my wrath?
Of all what that afflicts man
Anger takes the pride of place.
Drives to extremes man anger
Thought in his ’n deed as well.
Whoever can nip his anger
In the bud is man seasoned.
Reckoned as I not her welfare
On whom Rama stakes his life
Raison d’etre of Odyssey mine
Doubt there none it’s foolhardy.
Now that Lanka is on fire
Wouldn’t have Seetha lost her life?
What for came I to Lanka
Is it to kill Rama’s wife?
While the going was so good
How come lost I my bearing!
Spared as fury of Fire God
Not a square inch of Lanka
Where was space for her to hide?
Were Seetha to perish in fire
How am I to show my face
To her Lord who trusted me.
Why not I now end my life
Why to go to Ram with guilt.
How am I go back to them
How to look all them in face?
How I subscribed to world-view
That vanars wouldn’t get focused!
To let him in spite all go wrong.
Makes man passion imperfect
Hear if they that Seetha died
Ram ’n Lakshman won’t live more.
At the death of their siblings
Bharat ’n Satrughn follow suit.
Reign if ends of Ikshvaakus
Orphaned would be world at large.
For the foolish act of mine
Won’t I turn the accursed soul?
As sunk Hanuman in sorrow
Omens he sighted all too good.
Felt he raging flames of fire
Won’t match power of Rama’s wife.
Won’t her aura keep at bay
Flames of raging fire from her.
Won’t the Fire God himself know
Touch he cannot Rama’s spouse?
How can ever be Rama’s wife
Destined to burn like some sack?
As well Agni spared my tail
Would he ever touch Seetha then?
Mainak as did offer help
To sustain cause of Lord Rama
Wouldn’t then Agni follow suit?
Won’t her love for Rama make
Lakshman rekha for Fire God?
Wavered as thus Hanuman then
Heard he angels speak in awe.
Gods too never dared to dream
Ever would Ravan get subdued,
With Lanka thus now on fire
Lankans have no place to hide.
What did Hanuman to Ravan
Was like taming lion on heat
In its own den with bare arms.
Turned though Lanka to ashes
Wonder what made tongues of fire
Leave out Rama’s spouse unscathed!
Having heard all those angles
Spoke of her escape from fire
Heaved a sigh of relief he then.
That Seetha was left unharmed
Made then Hanuman jump for joy.
On the spur then felt Hanuman
Should go back to Rama’s spouse
So that he could take her leave.
Canto 56 - Havoc of a Take-off
Finding Seetha in fine shape
To her Hanuman prostrated.
As bade Hanuman her goodbye
Spoke in fondness Rama’s spouse.
Wish I now thee in some nook
Take some rest for day or two.
Well, O Hanuman thy advent
Made my sorrows turn their backs.
Bring as and when thou my Ram
Know am not sure whether I live.
Leave as thee to fetch Rama
Wonder whether I stand agony
Replace that would joy thou gave.
Can ever Ram ’n Lakshman cross
Sea this vast to reach Lanka
With the vanar force that’s large?
In spite of thy words so bold
Find I linger doubts these mine.
Apart Garud ’n Vayu, thou
Who else could cross sea this vast?
Tell me how thou would address
Problem this that confronts Ram.
If thee take me back I know
Spares the bother for my man
To cross this sea with force of his,
But then Rama wouldn’t have it
Since it’s not the proper way
For him to reclaim his Seetha.
It’s but proper for Lord Ram
That he takes me on his own.
Measure of Ravan as thou got
Guide my Ram to subdue him.
Impressed as he by her words
Addressed Hanuman her concerns.
Vast is bear and vanar force
To help thy man sure rescue thee
Lord Sugreev mine hath at hand.
Know our army is so vast
Once it lands on Lankan shores
Fills it to the last square inch.
Ram ’n Lakshman with arrows
Could kill Lankans to last man.
Once they thus end Ravan’s reign
Takes thee back Ram to thy town.
Having endured ordeals long
Time thou embrace hope from now.
Having Ravan seen thus dead
Walk thee would free to thy man.
Know the day is not far off
Lands when Ram on Lankan shores.
Having said thus Hanuman took
Leave of Rama’s spouse Seetha.
That Hanuman had come and gone
Seemed that all like dream for her.
That he did make Lankans rue
Portend well for things to come.
Assured that he Ravan’s end
Made Seetha pray Ram no end.
For his take-off to go back
Arishta mountain climbed Hanuman.
Passing clouds made Arishta look
Like the shy bride that was veiled.
Caressed by those sun rays thus
Seemed it woke up then from sleep.
Water falls of rivers on that
Sounded they like Vedic chants.
Seemed all trees of Arishta then
Like raised arms of scores of those
Ascetics engaged in prayers there.
Orchestra of magic flutes
Breeze made Arishta’s bamboos turn.
Covered by snow from tip to toe
Seemed Arishta then blissful soul.
Peaks sky high ’n caves all deep
Made Arishta seem cover all worlds.
Flowers varied of myriad trees
Gave that touch of bridal ware.
Beasts in woods all in their scores
Sauntered in groves that were thick.
Home it made all Gandharvas
Home away home for all of them.
Herbs it all had so myriad
Made they medicines that varied.
Set as Hanuman his huge foot
Rocks all got to pebbles reduced.
In his bid to sail across
Grew he further frame his large.
Sighted Hanuman sea across
Crossed that he to reach Lanka.
On his return trip to home
Veteran like he then took-off.
With the pressure it came to bear
Sank then Arishta deep in ground.
Pressed as Arishta to its core
Caved in with groan ocean bed.
Lost as Arishta its bearing
Trees then there got uprooted.
With their fate as thus got sealed
Roared lions all there in distress.
Flew as Gandharv women all there
Slipped their pallus off their breasts.
Serpents there lay furlongs long
Curled in pits of square foot then.
Angels all then came to rest
On its lovely peak foremost,
With that havoc of take-off
Took flight all of them in fright.
In time only seen was tip
Of that Arishta of great girth.
Left no trace of its glory
At length that peach of mountains.
Unmindful of that havoc
Had a smooth sail back Hanuman.
Canto 57 - Flight sans Hassles
Airborne as he so he seemed
Like a mountain with huge wings.
Nagas all from stratosphere
Saw him then in his flight route.
Stars all in their resplendence
Saw him as he passed them by.
Hanuman got a feeling then
Was he there in another world.
Moved as he thus in high skies
Seemed he swallowed clouds all there.
Picked as up he speed in flight
Seemed as if skies shrunk in size.
Formed then rainbow in mid-air
Looked that like a welcome arch.
Clouds as darkened in mid-course
Played he hide ’n seek like moon.
As and when he came in view
In his vest he shone like moon.
Acquired as if Garuda’s grace
With such ease then Hanuman flew.
Seemed then ether spread to world
Words those Hanuman spoke to self
About the valorous deeds of his
Done by grace of Lord Rama.
Approached when he Mainaka
Touched him Hanuman in reverence.
Sighted as he Indra’s hill
Roared then like a lion Hanuman.
Induced by the roars of his
Thundered all the clouds in skies.
Sighted as he home shore soon
Waved his tail in triumph Hanuman.
Sounded as he his comeback
Seemed all worlds then shook to roots.
With such chaos in the skies
Guessed his peers all his approach.
Waited they with bated breath
For Hanuman to come then in sight.
Soared their spirits as with his roars
Reached they shores to see him land.
Urge of theirs to see Hanuman
Made them all jump up and down.
Jambavan it was then addressed
All the vanars there gathered.
Doubt there none that our Hanuman
Is well on his way back home.
Neared as Hanuman southern shore
Raised sea mean level in welcome.
For the sight of Hanuman then
Climbed all vanars then treetops.
Jumped for joy as those vanars
Fell all leaves from their branches.
Heard they roar of their hero
Raised that decibels all over.
Sighted as all Hanuman soon
Raised they hands in salute then.
Folks as his lay awestruck then
He on Mahendra’s peak landed.
Jumped he down to rejoin
All those vanars whom he left.
In their joy then vanars all
Ran to mob their own hero.
Finding him in pink of health
Sigh of relief heaved they all.
Looked at him all in reverence
Fetched they rare fruits all for him.
Sounding welcome for Hanuman
Gave their throats then vanars all.
To elders all and Prince Angad
For his part then bowed Hanuman.
Knew as he their eagerness
To hear the story in detail,
As though to save all for Ram
Gave he brief as ‘Seen Seetha’.
Having embraced Prince Angad
Squatted Hanuman there on lawn.
Goaded by the vanars then
Told he how he found Seetha.
In her lament for her man
Found I famished her to bone.
That he himself saw Seetha
Cheered the vanars there gathered.
Roared as vanars with one throat
Shocked were birds all in their flight.
Raised as vanars tails their long
Looked like ladders they to skies.
Pachyderm like as sat Hanuman
In their joy they hugged him all.
Bringing order then Angad
Addressed Hanuman thus in praise.
None can equal thee on earth
Flew who over sea this twice.
Swore as all of us to die
Had thee failed to find Seetha
It’s thy valour saved our lives.
It’s thy reverence to Sri Ram
Made thee as the chosen one
To discern Seetha there yonder.
News of Seetha in his wait
Sure to gladden Rama’s heart.
Clapped all vanars to one man
At what all Angad just then said.
Kept they silence of pin drop
So that Hanuman could go on.
So to let him unfold then
With their hearts in mouths they sat.
So to catch his every word
Sat next Angad to Hanuman.
With the vanars there thus sat
Seemed the place then royal court.
Canto 58 - Odyssey in a Nutshell
Where to start and what to tell
Felt like Buridan’s ass Hanuman.
For their part then all his folk
Sat there tight to catch his words.
As though to help him in script
Addressed Jambavan Hanuman thus:
Tell O Hanuman where and how
Found thee Seetha Rama’s spouse.
Tell us how thou zeroed on
Rama’s spouse in wilderness.
Brief us now of odyssey thine
So that we can plan ourselves.
At the request of his peer
Spoke then Hanuman in loud tone.
Of course thee all bear witness
That I flew off from these shores.
Came across I in mid-seas
Mountain that was made of gold.
Sky high grew it in no time
Blocked it my way all the way.
To the errand on my hand
Saw it as I then hindrance.
Lashed it as I with my tail
Went it crashing down on knees.
Assumed form it then human
And in warmth thus spoke to me:
For my friendship with thy dad
Thou should take me as thy kin.
Am king of mountains Mainaka
Dwell in seas these underneath.
Mountains all in times of yore
Had we wings to circle worlds
Afraid of our crash landing
Complained all to Lord Indra.
Chose as Indra to clip wings
Of the mountains there are all
It’s thy father but who saved
Wings of mine from being clipped.
Bound am I to extend help
To thee now on this errand
With the intent to serve Ram
That he reclaims his lost spouse.
Offered though he me to take
Rest on golden peak of his
Wanting not to waste my time
Wished I none of that for me.
Having grasped my urgency
Pressed he none more Mainaka.
Bid as I him adieu then
Slipped he back then to sea bed.
Resumed then I unhindered
Journey mine that seemed so long.
Came across I then Surasa
Mother of serpents of all seas.
Oh how she made clear her intent
That she would make meal of me!
Not to rub on her wrong side
Pleaded my case with her thus:
Lived with Seetha ’n Lakshman
For long Ram in Dandak woods.
Snared as Ravan fair Seetha
Sent me her man to find out.
For thy being his subject
Dharma it’s thine aid his cause.
As and when I find Seetha
Convey I would to that Ram
And come back to thee forthwith
So that thou me have for meal.
But she would have none of it
And said none can escape her.
Mouth as she hers wide open
Gained I size to thwart her move.
Pulled as she jaws her so wide
To thwart her then I turned tiny.
So to beat the boon she got
That none can ever detour her
Went in and I came out swift
Brought as she her jaws to close.
In spite of the fact I tricked
Yet she wished me all the best.
Bade as she me then adieu
So all creatures of the seas.
Hardly had I flew a league
Felt as if was slowing down.
Surveyed as I all over
Found no hindrance in my route.
In awe then I continued
Straining every nerve of mine.
To get to the roots of problem
As saw I down from high skies
Found a fiend at my shadow.
Though she saw the giant of me
Yet she challenged me that fiend.
Said the fiend then all in glee
Glad I’ve found a giant in thee
Sure thou make full meal for me.
Like I did with that Surasa
Grew up in size all the more.
Rose as it to swallow me
Made I myself then puny.
Deftly then I entered her
Came out swiftly with her heart.
With her heart thus in my hand
Fell its corpse on high seas then.
From the talk of Siddhas then
Witnessed who all that from skies
Simhik was the fiend I slain
Killed as I the fiend that weird
Came to know that pulls its prey
Clutching at but their shadows.
Sank at length as sun in seas
Set then I foot on those shores.
As I reached the Lankan gates
Found there a fiend to confront.
Having tongues of fire for hair
Tried that fiend to slay me straight.
Needed as I no more than
Fist of mine to pin her down
Spoke that terrified fiend to me.
O great vanar thou may know
Me as Lanka’s main deity
That thee could well beat me true
All else here would bite the dust.
In spite of the guards all there
Covered I Lanka all that night
Yet I found not Seetha there.
Searched I Ravan’s palace then
Came a cropper there even.
Sauntered as I in and out
Found I to my wonder there
Garden with all golden walls.
Entered then I in great hope
Garden that was out of world.
In the midst of that garden
Found a dame I there squatted.
Unkempt all her pitch dark hair
Wide-eyed she was of middle age.
Downcast was she by demeanour
On guard there were women garish.
Taunted her all in their turns
Looked she like a trapped creature.
Ceased she not to pray her man
Cared she none fore self-upkeep.
Cursing Ravan in between
Wished she then to end her life.
By the virtue of her soul
And the beauty of her self
Felt I she could be Seetha.
Heard I tinkles of anklets
Sensed I women were nearby there.
Hiding myself on high branch
Waited for those women to come.
Sighted then I Ravan there
With his queens ’n keeps in tow.
Seetha who sat in sorrow
Changed her posture to cover more.
Neared as Ravan her in lust
Cowered all the more then Seetha.
In his bid to gain her love
Fell then Ravan at her feet.
Snubbed by Seetha even then
Gave her Ravan two more months
For her to choose from him or death.
At that Seetha seethed in rage
Spoke she to him with disdain.
How thou fail to know Ravan
Spouse am I of godly Ram?
Snared as crooked way by thee
Don’t I know how coward are thou?
What if thou are Lankan king
Measure thou none to Ram’s valet.
Slighted as by Rama’s wife
Burned in anger Ravan then.
Having thus lost his bearing
Moved Ravan to throttle her.
Stopped him in his tracks his queen
With these words that pleased him well.
Measure as thou to Lord Indra
Makes she no patch ever on me.
Why run after Seetha then
With me at thy side for fun?
Won’t thou have in thy harem
Women ever eager to please thee?
Having massaged ego his
Led she back him to harem.
Turned guards all then too hostile
To Rama’s spouse who snubbed Ravan.
Though they scolded her loudly
Paid them deaf ear then Seetha.
Seeing Seetha unmoved thus
Ran some then to brief Ravan.
Rest of them in exhaustion
Fell asleep all one by one.
In spite of that sans respite
Wept then Seetha for her man.
Woke up in trance Trijata then
From their ranks to address them.
Dream I had that bodes all ill
To Lanka ’n our Lord as well
Of course owing to this dame.
Better we make up with her now
So that she would save our lives.
For the suffering women like her
Dreams such as those portend well.
Better we seek now her mercy
So that we could come out clean.
Having heard what Trijata said
Assured Rama’s spouse them help.
Seeing her in such a plight
Felt I wretched for her sake.
Contrived I then to be heard
By her as I praised her man.
Having heard me tell her tale
Moved as she then spoke to me.
O little vanar who art thou
Who did send thee to Lanka?
Got as thee so close to Ram
Tell me how thou met my Lord?
Then I said to soothe her thus:
Made Lord Rama friend my Lord
Sugreev king of vanar world.
Hanuman am I sent by Ram
In search of thee in Ravan’s land.
Gave me Rama to show thee
Ring this he wears ever on him.
At thy beck and call am now
Bid me to take thee to Ram?
Such was Seetha’s perspective
Thought it would be fit for Ram
If he were to slay Ravan
And then take her back with him.
Wanted then I from Seetha
Something dear to both of them
So that I could show that Rama.
Thus she gave me this diadem
That she said would please her man.
Then she told me that episode
Wherein a crow turned eager
All to savour Seetha’s charms
That too when she was with Ram!
She was not to let me go
Wished as I to take her leave.
Wanted Seetha I tell Ram
Suffering hers for want of him.
Bid me she to fetch her man
Soon with Lakshman ’n Sugreev.
Were thou fail to bring Rama
And the rest in just two months
Live I not a day longer.
Spoke as she in such despair
Seized I was with burning rage.
Then and there I turned a fiend
Ravaged the grove that held her.
Cowered all beasts there so varied
Woke up in fright Seetha’s guards.
Seeing me thus in fury
Ran they all to tell Ravan.
Pictured they then to Ravan
Havoc I wrought in garden.
Were Ravan to give orders
Boasted they would make me pay.
In his bid to subdue me
Sent Ravan then his kinkars.
Eighty thousand strong they were
Slew I them all to last man.
‘Lost Lanka its vast army’,
Told Ravan his spies on prowl.
Chose I then their funeral place
Slew its guards with just one stroke.
With huge force to capture me
Sent then Ravan Prahastha’s son.
Spared I not then one even
Broke their backs with iron latch.
With the death of Prahastha’s son
Dispatched Ravan ministers’ sons.
One by one to hell all them
With that latch I then dispatched.
Not the one to give up soon
Sent Ravan his five Generals.
As I made them bite the dust
Chose Ravan to send his son.
Akshay though of tender age
Astute was he in warfare.
Yet I caught him by his legs
Flung him thus to Ravan’s court.
Enraged Ravan by all that
Sent his first born to battle.
That he subdued Lord Indra
Knows him world as Indrajit.
All his valour came to naught
When it came to me subdue.
Realizing I matched him well
Stunned me he with Brahmastra.
At his behest his flock then
Tied me with all sorts of ropes.
As they took me to Ravan
Fumed at me then he in rage
Wanted he to find out then
Why thus I played spoilsport.
Him I told for Seetha’s sake
Caused I all that destruction.
Moreso made it clear to him
Sent I was by Lord Rama.
Gave thee counsel I told him
Lord Sugreev too for thy good.
Sent Sugreev thee his greetings
Words these with to caution thee.
In my exile I met Ram
Vow I took to stand by him.
Ram then wanted me to help
Him to fight who snared Seetha.
Thereby had I that barter
Whereby he would slay Vali
Stole who my wife unfairly.
To his vow to kill Vali
Made Ram Lakshman bear witness.
With that single arrow Ram
Brought an end to Vali’s reign.
Made as he me vanar king
Owe him I to stand by him.
‘Send back Seetha to Lord Ram’
Advice this mine to thee now
Come would Hanuman to deliver.
That thou know the vanar force
Could well conquer all three worlds
Hope thee heed this advice mine.
Slighted as he by these words
Lost his cool then Lankan king.
Gave he go by to dharma
Ordered I be put to death.
Spoke then sibling of Ravan
Revere all there as Vibhishan.
Goes thy diktat O my Lord
Not with grain of thy dharma.
In the annals of state craft
Sent are men to mend fences
Ill behoves the recipient king
Kills if he the one thus sent.
Punish if we must this vanar
Sever we could a limb or two.
At that Ravan gave orders
Tail mine be then set on fire.
Having hit my tail with sticks
Tied it they with jute and all.
Poured they tons of oil then
Set they thus my tail on fire.
So to slight me all the way
Taken was I round the streets.
That they could make fun of me
Led I was then to main square.
Vanar then I turned tiny
Slipped out of the ropes they tied.
Grew I then to touch the skies
Slew them all there at one go.
Set I fire to buildings all
There in Lanka one by one.
Burnt as Lanka to the core
Worried I was for Seetha.
Took I Seetha’s death for sure
Sank in sorrow to my knees.
Cried then as I unceasing
Heard I Yakshas talk in skies.
From their talk I learnt for sure
Came no harm to Rama’s spouse.
Felt it’s all but grace of hers
Gave that respite to my tail.
Reached I then the Lankan beach
Quenched there well my burning tail.
Went I straight to Seetha then
Took her leave to fly back home.
Took-off then I from Lanka
To head home to see thee all.
There in high skies I flew past
Sun with trillion stars ’n moon.
With the blessings of Rama
And the wishes of our folk
Bring I could thee good tidings.
In brief that’s all what happened
Much is left for us to do.
Canto 59 - Pep Talk to Peers
Having told the main story
Fillips these then gave Hanuman.
Heartened that I found Seetha
Glued I then to Rama’s thought.
Lays who store on spouse like her
Woman there none so ever like her.
Ravan is no common man
For he survived Seetha’s ire.
Can turn Seetha to ashes
With her looks the gods even
Should they come ever coveting her,
But Ravan who laid on her
Hands his as he kidnapped her
Came out unscathed from her wrath.
How I wish that I could have
Brought her back to meet her man.
On my own then I could have
Killed all Lankans with Ravan.
Land as we all in Lanka
What would Ravan’s fate be then?
For me to slay all of them
Could have taken day or two,
So to bring them to their knees
Need we but an hour at most.
But then Ravan’s eldest son
By no means a pushover,
Dared he as well subdued too
None the less than Lord Indra,
Shy as gods all from him thus
Hails him world as Indrajit.
How I wish to fly back now
So to make him bite the dust.
With thy blessings on my own
Conquer could I all three worlds.
Were Jambavan to confront him
Where would Ravan hide his head?
Won’t our Angad on his own
Give a run to demons there all.
We’ve Neel ’n Panasa too
Need but fists to smash mountains.
None there ever in angels too
Match who might well Manduni.
What to speak of Dwividu then
Comes when it to fighting foes.
These two of the Aswin clan
Ever eager to fight such wars.
Come not to grief they in wars
Blessed are thus by Lord Brahma.
Partook both they nectar then
Subdued when they angels all.
Having them at our forefront
For us on the Lankan shores
Figure it would make but picnic.
Fire as I set to Lanka
Prayed all Lankans to Lord Ram.
Ram ’n Lakshman I extolled
Besides vanar Lord Sugreev.
Wondered as they who I was
Gave them that I’m Vayu’s son.
As I reached her to take leave
Found Seetha in great distress.
Amidst the guards who circled her
Seemed she full moon sunk in clouds.
Confined as thus by Ravan
Lost she none the sight of Ram.
Thinks she none of another man
Breathes she air that sounds Rama.
Wore she saree same old one
That which she had on her then
Snared when Ravan so long back.
Plaited she seems not her hair
Ever since she was thus confined.
Wont it’s her to chant Rama
Threaten her as and when her guards.
Pester ever as her captors
Rama’s wife is tired of life.
Felt all glad as Seetha learned
Her man made our Lord his friend.
Doomed as Ravan by her curse
Bound to get killed by her man.
Slim as Seetha by nature
Got she slimmer in despair.
Left it’s now to us vanars
How to see her out of woods.
Canto 60 - Angad on Rebound
Spoke thus Angad, Vali’s son:
Found as Hanuman Seetha now
Why not we fetch her to Ram?
How it feels if we tell him
Found though we failed to fetch her.
Know we all could fly across
Ocean this vast to reach there
And slay Ravan and his men.
Then we could bring Seetha back
And make Rama meet his spouse.
Slain as Hanuman Ravan’s men
What is left for us to do
Than lead Seetha back to Ram?
Why to bother folk back home
For what we could do on our own?
When he expects her the least
Won’t it be a pleasant surprise
That we fetch her to him thus.
Having heard thus Angad speak
Said then Jambavan in response:
Sent we were to find Seetha
Not to take her back with us.
Exceed if we Rama’s brief
Might we earn his ire as well.
Better we mind all Rama’s vow
That he would slay with his hands
The one who dared to snare his wife.
Should we go by route thee show
Won’t we make him fail his word?
Sounds it prudent that we might
Go back to Ram with her news.
Move thine surely saves bother
For the rest of folks back home
But know Ram would like it not.
Canto 61 - Eying the Madhuvan
At that Angad retracted
Agreed he to fall in line.
Thought it fit then vanar folk
To let Hanuman lead them back.
Moved as they like cloud in skies
Played the sun then hide and seek.
Kept all vanars their eyes on
Hanuman at the head of them.
Felt all they were indebted
For him having saved their lives.
Buoyed were all by the thought
That Ram would be pleased with them,
Proud all felt that they could help
Lord Rama who helped their Lord.
In that mood they saw Madhuvan
Garden like which nowhere there
Full of honeycombs on huge trees.
Garden that was Sugreev’s own
Dared none ever to step in there.
Aided by all well-built guards
Dadhimukh, Sugreev’s own uncle
Guarded that place round the clock.
Tempted as were vanars all
Licked their fingers all of them.
Pleaded all with Prince Angad
To let them have a glassful each
Of honey in plenty in Madhuvan.
Nod as he got from elders
Gave nod Angad to vanars.
Swarmed then simians all over
Honey they savoured to last drop.
Left they not a fruit or root
Fill to the hilt they had all.
In their mirth then those simians
Danced they all till legs them failed.
Sang some then in sonorous tunes
Blabbered others as in small groups.
Pranks they played of every sort
Spared they none of one another.
Leapt as some from tree to tree
Others did jump from branch to branch.
Lost they all then their bearings
Poked some of them their noses.
Turned they naughty all in end
Spread they all then far and wide.
Wretched as made they garden rare
Warned then Dadhimukh all of them.
Heeded but they not his words
Made that Dadhimukh think over.
Took he then them all to task
And that spoiled their party.
Swarmed all vanars then Dadhimukh
As would bees when stirred from comb
And that frightened Dadhimukh then.
With their nails all long and sharp
Scratched as some the garden chief
Dug their teeth strong others in him.
Canto 62 - Orgy in the Garden
At length on the same coin
Paid as Dadhimukh trespassers
Went then Hanuman to save them.
Sending Dadhimukh then packing
Goaded Hanuman them for more.
With that go by from Hanuman
Beseeched Angad then his flock
That they could have more of fun.
Vanars at that hailed Hanuman
As well Angad their young prince.
Having got the license thus
Indulged they in wild orgies.
Cared they two hoots for the guards
And chased them out of that garden.
Having had their fill in time
Vanars then had their siesta.
To take the vanars then to task
Guards all regrouped in their scores.
Drove but vanars all of them
Back to their posts in no time.
Fought then vanars mock battles
Honeycombs with those they emptied.
Vanars some were high by then
Made they beds of leaves to sleep.
Faltered they all in their steps
Tried as some to walk a while.
Stumbled as some in mid-course
Stepped them over rest of them.
Inhaled as though laughing gas
Went on laughing some of them.
Twice shy being bitten for once
Staid put guards all in their posts.
Yet vanars all itched for fight
And threw them all in mid-air.
Injured as they fell on ground
Limped all in pain to Dadhimukh.
Annoyed as he with vanars
Addressed thus the chief of guards.
Time it’s not to lose our hearts
Better we regroup ’n fight them.
Bucked up as all by his words
Back they went to trespassers.
Uprooting a tree Dadhimukh
Signalled he the fight on hand.
Lined up guards all then in files
Marched on rampant vanars there.
Followed suit as some their chief
Lifted boulders others there large.
Angad’s vanars there scattered
Turned they sitting ducks all then.
So to save his men Angad
Took on Dadhimukh on his own.
Half drunk by then as Angad
Gave no quarter to Dadhimukh
And hit him hard with fist his strong.
Fell on floor as then Dadhimukh
Who was none but his grandad
Ceased not Angad to hurt him.
Beaten thus by his grandson
Lost his consciousness Dadhimukh.
Woke up Dadhimukh thereafter
Guards he led back to barracks.
Lost no time the Guards-in-Chief
Addressed his men thus aggrieved.
Serves no purpose to fight back
Appraise we might vanar Lord
Of the havoc wrought by these
To the Madhuvan loves he most.
Be it Angad for such foul
He’s not the one to spare.
Got this garden vanar Lord
As a bequeath from his dad
Who in turn got from his dad.
Treats as Madhuvan as his child
Sure this carnage would outrage
Sugreev our Lord no end now.
Count on me to tell Sugreev
That they be all put to death.
Having spoken thus Dadhimukh
Flew to Sugreev with his flock.
In no time did Dadhimukh sight
Lord his Sugreev with his folks.
Having with his aids landed
Headed Dadhimukh to his Lord.
Saw then Sugreev his uncle
Approach him with dull demeanour.
Led then by the boss of theirs
Guards of Madhuvan saluted
Vanar Lord all one by one.
Canto 63 - Sugreev’s Reading
Fell as Dadhimukh at his feet
Spoketh vanar Lord perplexed.
What’s thy fault that makes thee fall
At the feet of thy nephew?
Fright thine makes me worried man
Harmed might’ve been my Madhuvan.
Ardour thus by Sugreev showed
Moved then Dadhimukh to speak thus:
Though all knew it out of bounds
Trespassed vanars some Madhuvan.
Ignored they all my warnings
Ate they every fruit and root.
Swarmed as by all bees out there
Yet they squeezed out honey in tons.
Having got drunk to the hilt
Mocked they my guards who cautioned.
Guards as there did try to stop
Beat them to pulp those vanars.
Makes me sad that Prince Angad
Aided as well abetted them.
Lay as wounded men of mine
Flung some vanars them sky high.
In thy reign O Lord Sugreev
That’s how folk thine slew our guards.
Having sensed then some import
Enquired Lakshman then Sugreev
What could have gone awry them.
What’s the matter vanar Lord
Why thy folk all look depressed?
Having by then smelt the rat
Appraised Sugreev Lakshman thus:
Complains Dadhimukh my uncle
That Prince Angad and his flock
Ravaged Madhuvan to its roots
As well slew its guards in scores.
If not for the happy end
To the errand on their hand
Would have Angad ever condoned
Deeds those vandal of vanars?
Strong as Dadhimukh ’n his folks
Failed to stop them all in tracks
Would mean spirits of Angad’s flock
Could have soared to skies all high.
Feel I Angad and party
Having by then found Seetha
Would have indulged in orgies.
It’s but Hanuman who could have
Found out Seetha in spite of
Hurdles all there to reach her.
Fails he never to deliver
Backed by Jambavan ’n Angad
Leads when Hanuman from the front.
Turned as joyous by the news
Brought by Hanuman from Seetha
Lost they could have their bearing.
Had not Hanuman sighted her
Dare how they would ever enter
Madhuvan after mine own heart?
It’s but their joy that gave cause
For their pranks all with those guards.
It’s this grasp of their action
Made that Dadhimukh rush to us.
Feel I certain from all this
Found was Rama’s spouse Seetha.
If not Angad would not have
Let his flock thus play havoc
With the Madhuvan of our clan.
With the way Lord Sugreev spoke
Pleased no end was Lakshman then.
Happy was Ram at the turn
Of the tide in Seetha’s search.
Turned then Sugreev to Dadhimukh
Thanked him for the news he brought.
Dispatched Sugreev his uncle
So he sends back Angad’s flock.
No less eager all of us
To hear where Hanuman found Seetha.
Made the joyous look of Ram
Joyous Lakshman and Sugreev.
Canto 64 - Return of the Platoon
At the diktak of his Lord
Took leave Dadhimukh of them all.
Flew he back then to Madhuvan
With his flock to fetch Hanuman.
Speeded as he to his Lord
Rushed he so back to Madhuvan.
In the garden he left them
Found he vanars turn sober.
Went he straight to Angad then
Spoke he thus with folded hands.
Pardon my flock and me too
For we tried to stop thee all
From thy having fun of life.
At thy pleasure O Prince Angad
Let thy folk have some more fun.
Like thy dad in days of yore
Sugreev ’n thou make our Lords.
Told we Sugreev thy uncle
Landed thou all in Madhuvan.
Felt he so glad hearing that
Found I safe ’n sound all thee.
Flared up he not as I told
Spoiled all of thee Madhuvan.
Now he sent me here to fetch
Thee all back to him forthwith.
At this Angad told his flock
Rama could be in the know.
Inclined am to think so
Seeing joyous Dadhimukh’s face.
Now that all of us had fun
Why not go back to our Lord.
Wish I none have to dictate
Like to follow what thee say.
Brought as thou us this glory
Honour me thou as thy Prince
It’s no time that’s opportune
For me to thee dictate terms.
Spake as Angad to his flock
Made that happy one and all.
Spoke they in turn to Angad
All of them in one voice,
Like thou take us as equals
Who else would treat his subjects?
Bow as thou to thy subjects
Take thee that to top of world.
Think as thee of thy uncle
We too wish to see our Lord.
Lead us all to where thee go
None of us would drag his feet.
Gave as Angad green signal
Rose then his flock to the skies.
Angad thus with at the head
Flew they flying saucer like.
Thus in tow with Hanuman then
Pulled his flock all back Angad.
Sighting Angad in the skies
Spoke then Sugreev to Rama.
See our vanars flying back
Portends that well for Seetha.
Espy speed at which they fly
Would they do so had they failed?
To me if he were to fail
Would ever Angad show his face?
Besides fouling my Madhuvan
Were he failed to find Seetha
How dare Angad come to me?
If not that they found Seetha
Would have Angad let his flock
At the pain of death enter
Madhuvan that’s so dear to me?
Feel I certain Hanuman did
Find Seetha in thy waiting.
Espouses as he some cause
Hanuman is ever dedicated.
Whatever he might undertake
Known is Angad for his luck.
Now that Angad advances
Like the one who succeeded
That should make us feel easy.
That our vanars on errand
Wrecked my garden in orgies
Would but portend that Seetha
Was found in the pink of health.
Won’t they roar in joyous mood
What’s that but they got it right.
Saw vanar Lord in descent
Angad’s flock in bid to land.
In salute to that force his strong
Raised then Sugreev tail his straight.
Seeing Sugreev in welcome
Signalled Angad to his flock
Land they might all on the trot.
Enthused as were all by then
Lost no time to land vanars.
Having went to Rama straight
‘Seen I Seetha’ told Hanuman.
Gladdened tidings of the news
Hearts of Ram and his sibling.
Felt glad Sugreev that Hanuman
Caressed was by Lakshman’s eyes.
Melted loving look of Ram
Hanuman to the core of heart.
Canto 65 - News in Brief
Followed Angad suit Hanuman
Paid he respects to Lord Ram.
Such was vanars’ state of mind
Spoke they out of turn they all.
Blabbered they all one by one
In bits ’n pieces what they heard.
Amused by their hearsay Ram
Heard them all for quite sometime.
Enquired in time Ram of them
What doth Seetha think of him.
At that they all passed baton
To Hanuman who was in the know.
Set to recap then Hanuman
Thought of Seetha in reverence
And turned southward to face her.
Taking seat at Rama’s feet
Handed him then that diadem
Given by Seetha for recall
And thus spoke with folded hands.
Pressed as I was by my peers
Crossed I ocean lay there south
In search of Seetha there yonder.
Reached I Lanka in no time
Land that ruled by vile Ravan.
Found I Seetha in distress
Jailed as Ravan to digress
From her love to thee her Lord.
In the hope of her rescue
Lingers she on in thy thought.
Never having had bad dream
Wonder how her life turned sour.
In tight rein is Seetha held
Day ’n night of vigil to boot
Of the devilish guards in scores.
Floor she uses for her bed
Curses Ravan for her plight.
It’s that Seetha in lament
Found I at length in torment.
In time I could impress her
That am but thine own agent.
How glad was she as I told
Hath Lord Sugreev turned thy friend.
Steadfast as she in thy thought
Prayed thee for long in reverence.
Told me she then that story
Of the eager crow and thee.
Beseeched Seetha then with me
To tell her tale of owes to thee.
Give this diadem to my Lord
When thy Lord is there with him.
Tell my Ram that I relive
Touch his as he adorned me
With this diadem my dad gave
To me on our wedding day.
It’s this one that makes me feel
As if thee are ever with me.
Gave though Ravan two more months
To change my mind or face then death
Prefer I would to end my life
At the end of one more month.
In her state of distress Lord
That’s how Seetha spoke to me.
Now that I made thee privy
To the plight of thy Seetha
Think of ways ’n means to take
Our force there to bring her back.
Felt though Ram then so sad
Spouse his was in such distress
Yet he felt glad that Hanuman
Could show him the way to her.
Canto 66 - Tears in Torrents
Moved by Seetha’s plight he heard
Wept Ram holding her diadem.
Welling his eyes to then brim
Brought it memories in torrents.
Told he then the import of
Diadem that to Lord Sugreev.
It was gift of her father
At the time of our wedding.
Given it was by nonetheless
Than Lord Indra to her dad.
As I see this diadem now
Recall I well our wedding
Graced by parents of us both.
Ever I recall that aura
Gives this diadem to Seetha.
For the solace of my soul
Make it encore O Hanuman
How my Seetha misses me.
My dear sibling O Lakshman
How this diadem in my hands
Wrenches my heart to the core.
Though gave Seetha thirty days
Outer limit for me to act
How can ever I wait that long.
To my Seetha whom I love
Take me forthwith O Hanuman.
Delicate being her nature
What an ordeal it could be
To be confined thus for long?
Won’t her moon like face look like
Full moon shrouded by thick clouds?
Tell me what all Seetha said
Want I hear to her last word.
Keen am I to get picture
Of the pining of my spouse.
Canto 67 - Hanuman’s Replay
Moved no end by Rama’s plight
Spoke with ardour then Hanuman.
Narrate I would verbatim
Tale she told me to tell thee.
Woke up as I ahead of Ram
Slept when we both in open
Pecked my bosom Kakasur.
Bore I pain all in silence.
Not to disturb his sleep then.
Taking advantage of that
Went on hurting me that crow
Making fountains of my breasts.
Fell as my blood on his chest
Woke up Ram to find me bleed.
Saw he as me in distress
Hissed my man like king cobra.
Dare who did to lay his hands
On thy breasts that brush my chest!
To his dismay he then found
Kakasur with blood on hands.
Realized Ram that Kakasur
Bird of birds was Indra’s son.
Misdeed that of Indra’s son
Found then my man hard to bear.
Plucked he then a nearby reed
And with power of his mantra
That he turned to Brahmastra.
Let as Ram that Brahmastra
To chase Kakasur to death
Spewed it tongues of fire at him.
So to save his life his dear
Turned that crow to one and all
Including hid dad Indra.
None as came forward to help
Came back Kakasur to Ram
Sought he pardon for his foul.
Inclined though Ram to pardon
Yet he couldn’t help hurt his eye
Since none retracts his mantra.
Thanking Ram for his reprieve
Left Kakasur with left eye then.
Said she thus she fails to grasp
How come Rama spares Ravan.
Is there someone in all worlds
Who would stand up to fight Ram?
Concern if hath Lord Rama
For me his spouse ever loyal
May he come ’n slay Ravan.
Am I not like mother to him
What made Lakshman thus stay put?
Oh my man and his sibling
Could kill Ravan on their own,
And if they both feel for me
Why they fail to rescue me?
Seems both of them mistook me
For some reason know not what.
Seeing Seetha doubt herself
Gave I her thus assurance.
It’s his sorrow for thee know
Made that Rama lose his way.
Seeing thy man immobilized
As well Lakshman lost his wits,
Now that I would tell thy tale
Both of them would spring to life.
Enthused by the news I fetch
Land they would soon in Lanka.
That would be the beginning of
The end of Ravan’s reign on earth.
For thy Lord to trust my word
Give me keepsake he gave thee.
Having thought a while Seetha
Gave this diadem now thou hold.
In my hurry to see thee
Bid I adieu to thy spouse.
As I started to gain size
So that I could cross the seas
Spoke then Seetha to me thus.
As she took thy name O Lord
Broke she down then in despair.
Having at length set her tone
Chanted thy name like mantra.
That thou bestow trust in me
Praised my fortune then Seetha.
As a seat for her fly back
Offered then I her my back.
Told I she would be with thee
Before she could spell thy name.
Said she it’s not in her vein
Touch to alien male on own.
Felt I it’s my misfortune
Laid as Ravan hand on me
Kidnapped as he me then thus.
So can’t I make on thy back
Though thou are a friendly soul.
Once thou go back to thy folk
Pay my respects to them all.
Implore upon my Lord Ram
Help me come out clean early.
Mind thee tell all to my Lord
How guards all these distress me.
Men of men O Lord Rama
That’s how Seetha pines for thee.
Canto 68 - Times of Hope
Said then Hanuman to Rama
Came as thy spouse to trust me
Spoke she further thus with me.
Stress the need to do needful
Speak as thou to my Lord Ram.
How I wish thou gone by now
Yet I feel thou need some rest
Stay so back for one more day.
It’s thy coming O Hanuman
Set the mind of mine at rest.
Leave as thee the Lankan shore
High ’n dry me that would leave.
In contrast to strength thee gave
Won’t thy absence make it worse.
Be that as it may Hanuman
Reach to Lanka as thee did
Can all vanars cross this sea?
To slay Ravan for my sake
How my Lord ’n his sibling
Can cross over sea this vast?
But for Vayu, Garud ’n thou
Who else could cross Lankan seas?
How to bring all to these shores
Thus O Hanuman give a thought.
Surely on thy own Hanuman
Make can Ravan bite the dust
Yet that leaves no role for Ram
In the rescue of his spouse.
If my Lord doth declare war
And downs Ravan in combat
That would enhance his prestige
And earns me honour in reclaim.
Ravan as did snare me then
Spirit if thou me from Lanka
Won’t it go down well with Ram.
Proper thus it’s for my Lord
Comes he here ’n takes me back.
Keeping all this in thy mind
For my rescue by my man
Need there is for thee to come
Up with foolproof plan some now.
Seeing how she lays in store
Honour of her beloved man
Spoke I to her in reverence.
Goddess like O Rama’s spouse
Know Sugreev is committed to
Help thy man to set thee free.
Know we vanars in millions
Stake our lives to keep the word
Lord our thus gave to thy lord.
Choose if vanars to breach earth
Is there someone to stop them?
Blessed are all of us with skills
Roam we may all worlds are there.
Falls none ever as short of me
Vanars in scores better me true.
As I could do what I did
What to speak of rest of them?
Now it’s time thee feel easy
Soon we vanars land in droves
With thy Lord to set thee free.
Discount if thou vanar strength
Don’t thee know that I could fly
Ram ’n Lakshman on my back
Shores to these to fight Ravan?
Thou well know that thy man with
Sibling his would come out trumps.
Nevertheless we all vanars
To fight the forces of Ravan
Would be there on hand to Ram.
Land as we on Lankan shores
To hear the roars of vanar force
Won’t it take thee now so long.
Slays when Ram the evil Ravan
Won’t thee hand in hand in time
Ascend Ayodhya’s throne with him?
Having heard my words Seetha
Said she would ever live in hope
That thee would soon set her free.
Embrace of a Gift - Peep into Yuddha Kanda: War on Ravan
Pleased no end was Rama then
Hope thus Hanuman could infuse
In his forlorn spouse Seetha.
Well O Hanuman thy great deeds
Would stand out all times to come.
With God Vayu ’n Garuda
Fly who with ease seas across
Make thee living legend now on.
Just to set foot in Lanka
Dare not angels ever in dreams.
Know not I a soul on earth
Dared that trespass Ravan’s land,
Speaks in volumes thy valour
Dared as thee ’n came back sound.
Comes it when to sheer valour
Know thee none can ever equal.
Blessed is thy Lord Sugreeva
Hath who in ranks Vayu’s son
Acts who to his Lord’s benefit
Outside though brief of his Lord.
Might we call him just worthy
Who that goes by master’s brief.
Meets no end on he errand
Strives who none though well-spoken.
Errand on that thou was sent
To find my spouse in alien land
Ruled by none else but Ravan
Left no stone thou ever unturned.
Had thee not thus found Seetha
Sure it would have been my death
Know thus with thy dedication
Saved thou life of me for now.
For I lost my crown and all
For the worse of fate of mine
For thy good turn O Hanuman
For me to show due gratitude
None have I to bestow thee.
Like to take thee in my arms
So that I could bring my heart
Closer now to thine own one
Helps as that to convey well
Gratitude it bears for thee.
Having spoken thus Rama
Taken Hanuman moved by then
Into warmth of his embrace.
Coronation and After
Led by Vasisht high priest then
Ram ’n Seetha reached high throne.
One by one then twelve Vasus
And those grand seers eight of them
Perfused both of them with scents.
Then those elders let Brahmans
Virgins, nobles and Generals
Likewise perfuse them on throne.
Soon after were invited
Angels all to perfuse Ram
Seetha too with heavenly scents.
Held Ram’s sibling Satrughna
Canopy over royal heads
While Lord Sugreev deemed if fit
To don the role of fan boy then.
As a mark of his respect
Fanned them Vibhishan from other end.
Standing in for Lord Indra
Gave them Vayu gold lotus.
On his own then Vayu gave
Pearl necklace for Ram to wear.
Made the singers ’n dancers
Sent by Indra from his court
Seem it like a heavenly show.
Portend well to Ram’s lordship
Mother earth came up with bounty.
Last which would for generations
Such farm wealth Ram gave Brahmans.
For the sake of their womenfolk
Ram gave Brahmans all rare gems.
Gave then Ram to Sugreeva
Pearl chain that seemed Milky Way.
Gave Lord Ram to Prince Angad
Epaulets gold with blood red stones.
Pearl chain that Ram gave Seetha
Looked like moonbeam in blue skies.
With the consent of her Lord
Gave then Seetha silk garments
As well jewels to Hanuman.
Pulled out Seetha from her self
Necklace that was she fond of.
Sensed as Ram her intent true
Beseeched he she bestows that
Upon the one she loves the most
Apart from the spouse of hers.
Heartened as she was at that
Gave that Seetha to Hanuman.
Wore it Hanuman in reverence
Shone he like the moon on earth.
Honoured Rama Dwividu then
With Maindun ’n Neel as well
With such gifts that touched their hearts.
Went on Ram to honour friends
Left was none from vanar ranks.
Not the one to ignore friends
Ram then called for Vibhishan
Gave him gifts that pleased him most.
Last but not the least on list
Was Hanuman who got the best
From Lord Ram who valued him.
Came as time for guests to part
Gave them consent Ram to leave.
All the way to Kishkindha
Led then flock his Sugreeva.
Left for Vibhishan to Lanka
To reign in place of Ravan then.
Settled as Ram for his long reign
Spoke he then to Lakshman thus:
Sibling loyal O Lakshman
Consent to be my Crown prince.
At that Lakshman turned his back
Bharath he then pushed to forefront.
Yagas ordained by Vedas
In his long reign Ram performed.
Reign ten millennia his lasted
Domain of its spread worlds over.
Helped as Lakshman in his reign
Giving hands of Ram then touched
Horizons wide of all three worlds.
Took care Ram of his subjects
No poor cousin was ever ignored.
In his reign all lived full life
None was ruined by Acts of God.
Died no infant in his reign
Lived no dacoit to name one.
Reigned well dharma in his time
Gone were faction fights of yore.
None was barren in his land
In scores bore women there children.
Took his name all day and night
Revered him all worlds to one man.
Climes all then put their best foot
Dared not drought to visit his land.
Lived all making best of life
Shown was door to greed by all.
Sense of fairness ruled as minds
Were there no mean in his reign.
Such was golden rein of Ram
10 K summers it lasted
To the world that lapsed itself
Turned that distant past in time.
Told are life ’n times of Ram
In this foremost poetic work
Sage Valmiki gave this world.
Brings it cheer to who reads it
Besides those who hear it read.
Women who hear all Ramayan
Bear they sons who live for long.
Hears who victor Rama’s tale
Keeps he death at bay for long.
Who in reverence hears saga
Of Lord Ram in Ramayan
Gave to world by Valmiki
Comes out unscathed from hardships.
Helps man Ramayan come to
Grips with anger and distress.
To and fro in one’s voyage
Gives this tale him safe passage.
Hear who Rama’s tale till end
Gods are known to bless them all.
Rulers who read Ramayan
Come to rule the entire world.
Swear who by this ancient work
Absolved would be from all sins.
Store if set by Rama’s tale
Turns warrior the tides battle.
Reads if one or hears this tale
Grace he hath of Lord Rama.
In his avatar as Rama
Ordained Vishnu that Seshu
Makes who heavenly cushion for him
Would be with him as Lakshman.
One who hears ever this saga
Gets a spouse who well pleases.
Who in reverence hears this tale
Earns he fame that lasts for long.
Reads Whoso this adi kavya
Wins he heart of Lord Vishnu.
Essence of it whoso gets
Pleases progenitors ’n angels.
Rewrites whoso this saga
As told by sage Valmiki
Ascend he would heaven in end.
Dedicated to –
Childhood friends, Nittala Rama Rao, who envisaged that I transcreate in English this momentous episode of the adi kavya and Erramilli Rohini Kumar, who, besides encouraging me to undertake the challenge, came up with the book jacket besides Katlin Darnall of the World Public Library for the enriching editing.”